Jeff Nowak

Jeff Nowak

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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Does Paid Leave Become Reality in a Trump Administration? And Who is His Likely Choice to Head the Department of Labor?

Every other employment attorney has been offering their opinion on how the election of Donald Trump will impact employment law. So, I’d feel left out of this riveting discussion if I didn’t offer my two cents about how a...more

11/17/2016 - Administrative Appointments DOL FMLA Maternity Leave Paid Leave Parental Leave Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Trump Administration

Can an Employer Require That an Employee Submit FMLA Certification from a Specialist to Support the Need for FMLA Leave?

When it comes to FMLA medical certification, my clients have many complaints. One beef, in particular, is vague medical information they receive on a certification completed by the employee’s primary care physician. This...more

11/4/2016 - Fitness for Duty Exams FMLA Medical Certification Requests Medical Examinations Paid Leave Wage and Hour

Following Chicago’s Lead, Cook County Requires Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees

This summer, we reported that the City of Chicago had passed an ordinance requiring employers located in the City to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Last week, Cook County followed suit, passing a virtually...more

10/13/2016 - Local Ordinance Paid Leave PTO Sick Leave Wage and Hour

When Employers Don't Recognize an Employee's Notice of the Need for FMLA Leave, They Pay the Price

As employers, we face a sobering reality: at every turn, the FMLA sets us up to fail. Whether it’s deciphering medical certification, assessing fitness for duty upon return to work, or dealing with the always frustrating...more

9/29/2016 - Employee Training FMLA Notice Requirements Paid Leave PTO Sick Leave Wage and Hour

Can Hillary Clinton Take FMLA Leave for Pneumonia? And Can Her Campaign Give Her the Boot Because She's a Key Employee?

Disclaimer! Disclaimer! This is not a political post. But where current events meet the FMLA, I’m as giddy as a five-year old boy coming eye-to-eye with his first dump truck! Unless you’ve been living under a rock the...more

9/14/2016 - FMLA Hillary Clinton Paid Leave Political Campaigns Presidential Elections Reinstatement Sick Leave Wage and Hour

Sweet Justice! Dismissal of Bully's FMLA Claim Proves Employers Can Safely Terminate an Employee on the Heels of FMLA Leave

I hate bullies. Back in 4th grade, Sister Mary Demetria, OSF, told us that “hating” someone was a sin. I’m convinced Sister never met a bully. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Cause, you see, whenever I...more

9/8/2016 - Bullying Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Harassment Hiring & Firing Hostile Environment Performance Improvement Plans Retaliation Termination Tyson Foods

Are Foreign Nationals on H-1B Work Visas Eligible for FMLA Leave?

Over the past few months, I’ve been asked by clients whether foreign nationals who are in the United States on work visas are eligible for FMLA leave. Honestly, I didn’t know the answer to the question when I was first...more

9/1/2016 - ADA DOL FMLA Foreign Nationals H-1B Hiring & Firing Immigrants Reasonable Accommodation Unpaid Leave Visas Wage and Hour

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long),...more

8/26/2016 - Attorney's Fees Chipotle Grill EEOC Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Telecommuting Termination

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Accept FMLA Medical Certification from an Online Health Care Provider? And What If It's an LCPC?

Q: Our employee is trying to support his need for FMLA leave with medical certification from an online health care provider. Is this valid under the FMLA? And What if It’s a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor? A:...more

8/11/2016 - DOL FMLA Health Care Providers Medical Certification Requests Medical Leave Wage and Hour

Does an FMLA Leave Request Double as a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation? Should Employers Care?

There is a hot debate brewing over the tantalizing question, “Does a request for FMLA leave also constitute a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA?” The worlds of FMLA and ADA clash! Surely, this...more

7/21/2016 - ADA Employer Liability Issues FMLA Popular Reasonable Accommodation Wage and Hour

Chronic Conditions: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave When an Employee Does Not Attend Two Doctor Visits in One Year?

Frank, your night custodian, reports that he suffers from Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that will cause him to miss work when the condition flares up from time to time, including his absence yesterday. Cleaning floors...more

7/14/2016 - FMLA Medical Certification Requests Medical Examinations Paid Leave PTO Wage and Hour

Handling Intermittent, Unpredictable Leave Requests after FMLA Ends: Additional Analysis of My Webinar with EEOC Commissioner...

This is the second part of a two-part blog post in which I recap the issues Commissioner Feldblum and I discussed during the webinar. Yesterday, I provided guidance on how an employer should address an employee’s requests...more

6/30/2016 - EEOC FMLA Paid Leave PTO Wage and Hour

Managing Repeated Requests for Leave as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation: Takeaways from My Webinar with EEOC Commissioner Feldblum...

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of conducting a webinar with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as an ADA reasonable accommodation in light of the EEOC’s new technical resource issued on this topic in...more

6/29/2016 - ADA Disability Discrimination EEOC Employer Liability Issues FMLA Reasonable Accommodation Title VII

EEOC Issues New Resource Document Addressing Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA. What's the Impact on Employers?

For years, employers across America have been clamoring for guidance from the EEOC about how they should manage an employee’s request for extended or intermittent leave from work and how much leave is considered as...more

5/10/2016 - ADA Discrimination EEOC Employee Benefits Equal Access FMLA PTO Reasonable Accommodation

DOL Requires Employers to Use New FMLA Poster, Publishes Guide to Help Employers Administer FMLA

Earlier today, the Department of Labor announced that it soon will require employers across the country to post a new DOL general FMLA Notice in their workplaces.  In issuing this new directive, the agency also unveiled a new...more

4/25/2016 - DOL FMLA New Guidance Posting Requirements

Paid Family Leave Becomes Law in New York Through an Insurance-Style Scheme. Will Other States Follow?

Could this be a game-changer when it comes to paid family and sick leave? Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law what is being dubbed the country’s longest and most comprehensive paid family leave...more

4/5/2016 - Employee Benefits FMLA New Legislation Paid Family Leave Insurance Program Paid Leave PTO

FMLA FAQ: What if the Doctor Refuses to Use the Employer's FMLA Medical Certification Form? And They Want to Charge a Fee for It?

A couple of clients have asked me recently whether a health care provider can use his/her own medical certification form or “doctor’s note” to support the employee’s need for FMLA leave, or can we require the HCP to use the...more

3/31/2016 - Employee Benefits Employee Liability Information Fees FMLA FMLA Abuse Health Care Providers Medical Certification Requests Medical Leave Wage and Hour

FMLA FAQ: How Does an Employer Calculate Intermittent FMLA Leave When an Employee Moves from Full-Time to Part-Time?

Q: One of our employees was at full-time status (40 hrs/wk.) six months ago when he was granted intermittent FMLA leave for a GI issue that flared up from time to time. He took 120 hours of FMLA leave (or three weeks)...more

3/23/2016 - DOL Employee Benefits FMLA Full-Time Employees Part-Time Employees Wage and Hour

Butt Implants, Male Breast Reductions Among Top Plastic Surgery Trends. But Are These Procedures Protected by FMLA?

Apparently, Kim Kardashian isn’t the only one whose derrière seems to have transformed over the years. According to data provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and published in a number of news...more

3/2/2016 - Cosmetic Surgery Employee Benefits FMLA Wage and Hour

Note to Self: Posting My Beach Vacation Photos on Facebook During FMLA Leave is Not a Good Idea

I always love a good social media FMLA smack down. It’s even better when the employer handles the situation in textbook fashion. Today’s installment offers both, while also providing a road map for employers when...more

2/24/2016 - Corporate Counsel Employee Benefits Facebook FMLA Photographs Popular Social Media Wage and Hour

ABA's Summary of 2015 FMLA Cases an Outstanding Resource for Employers, Attorneys

This is one of the most exciting days of the FMLA year for me. Literally, one of those “The phone books are here!” days. Why? Every mid-February or so, the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards...more

2/19/2016 - American Bar Association (ABA) FMLA Wage and Hour

Can Employees Be Disciplined When They Exceed the Frequency or Duration on Their FMLA Medical Certification?

One of the biggest headaches for employers when administering FMLA leave is how to deal with the employee who exceeds the frequency or duration identified on the employee’s medical certification. Nearly all of these...more

2/11/2016 - DOL FMLA Medical Certification Requests Popular Wage and Hour

Use The "Rolling" Method to Calculate FMLA Leave! This Employer Learned the Hard Way

Every once in awhile, I find myself counseling an employer with either no FMLA policy or one completely lacking in any meaningful details. Often, these policies fail to include key provisions to protect against liability....more

2/5/2016 - Department of Corrections Employee Benefits Employment Policies FMLA Wage and Hour

A Big Yawner? DOL Issues FMLA Fact Sheet Regarding Joint Employers

Joint employer issues are all the rage right now. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) put the screws to McDonald’s in finding that the Company is liable “jointly” along with their franchisees for alleged...more

1/28/2016 - DOL FLSA FMLA Joint Employers NLRB Popular Staffing Agencies

FMLA FAQ: How Do Snow Days Affect FMLA Leave?

Q. Like many east coast employers preparing for the impending blizzard, we want to know how we calculate FMLA leave if our office is closed due to the weather. I have an employee out on FMLA. Do I count the snow day against...more

1/22/2016 - FMLA Paid Leave Popular Severe Weather Wage and Hour

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