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Can an Employee take FMLA Leave to Care For a Sibling? Before You Say "No," Read This

I love my brother dearly. I love my sister just as much. And whenever we near the end of life’s journey (a long time from now, of course), I’ll be there to care for them. And they, for me, despite the many piledrivers I...more

4/6/2017  /  ADA , Disabled , Discretionary Functions , DOL , FMLA

Can We Lawfully Terminate an Employee After He Submits a Vague Doctor's Note Seeking an Extension of Leave? In a Word, Yes.

An employee’s 12 weeks of FMLA leave has exhausted, and over the past several weeks, he’s provided you a series of vague doctor’s notes typically containing nothing more than a one-liner extending his medical leave of absence...more

These Three Key FMLA and ADA Resources Will Help You Conquer the World

If you have any interest in vastly improving your FMLA and ADA mojo, here are three can’t miss resources you need to make part of your professional reading and education each spring: 1. Review the ABA’s Report of 2016...more

Disclosing an Employee's Medical Condition May Result in an Automatic FMLA Violation

This is a story about Scott. He has a medical condition affecting his genito-urinary system. In the words of my two-year old, Maggie, this condition sounds yucky. Like other employees with a genito-urinary disorder,...more

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

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

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

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

An Employee's "Hope" That She'll Return to Work Isn't Enough to Require Additional Leave under the ADA

One of the most difficult issues an HR professional or in-house employment counsel faces is how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave beyond 12 weeks required? The...more

Where FMLA and ADA Issues Overlap: A Recap of our Webinar (and Link to our Recording!)

Thanks to those who attended my webinar last week on FMLA and ADA Overlap Issues.   In a mere hour plus, Sara Elder, (Division Vice President, Fair Employment & Compliance, for Sears Holdings Management Corporation) Matt...more

After He Allegedly Showed Up Drunk to Practice, Should Former USC Football Coach Steve Sarkisian Have Been Placed on FMLA Leave...

A question was posed to me on Twitter this past week: Shouldn’t former University of Southern California (USC) football coach Steve Sarkisian have been placed on FMLA leave to get treatment for apparent alcoholism instead of...more

Requiring an Employee to Return from FMLA Leave "Without Restrictions" or "Fully Healed" Is Playing with Fire

Do you know what happens when you maintain a policy or practice that requires an employee to return to work without restrictions or “100% healed”? You pay. A lot. Just ask Brookdale Senior Living Communities....more

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Provide Intermittent FMLA Leave So An Employee Can Attend to an Autistic Child?

Q: One of our employees, a front desk receptionist, maintains an erratic work schedule because she must attend to her autistic son. In short, her son throws a tantrum at school if his mom does not personally drop him off...more

EEOC Commissioner Provides Helpful Guidance to Employers on Providing Accommodations to Pregnant Employees

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting with EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic on the EEOC’s pregnancy discrimination guidance and how employers should address pregnancy accommodations in the workplace.  Our presentation...more

Want to Drastically Improve Your FMLA and ADA Expertise? Attend These Can't Miss FMLA/ADA Compliance Conferences

Throughout the year, HR professionals and attorneys ask me for my recommendations on the very best conferences to learn more about the FMLA and ADA. The “best,” of course, is in the eye of the beholder. In my humble...more

Employer Fails to Provide Leave of Absence to Probationary Employee, Pays the Price

Adam was a maintenance technician for EZEFLOW, a company which manufactures pipe fittings.  He also was a marine corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon his discharge from the marines, Adam started his...more

FMLA Leave for Headache Effectively Converts Full-Time Position into Part-Time Position; Employers' Shrieks Heard Across the...

This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For...more

Don't Be Tripped Up by Light Duty Obligations under the FMLA and ADA: A Discussion of Employer Best Practices

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of presenting on the FMLA and ADA reasonable accommodations at CUPA-HR‘s annual conference with my friend, Stan Kulesa from The Standard....more

A Game-Changing Decision? Sending FMLA Notices to Employees by U.S. Mail May Not Cut It Anymore

With all the FMLA paperwork that a leave administrator has to provide an employee during the FMLA process, you’d wonder whether you’re attending a real estate closing. All these documents — whether it’s the Notice of...more

Are Inflexible Leave Policies Lawful After All? One Court Leaves Employers Salivating

When it comes to leave as a reasonable accommodation after FMLA leave is exhausted, employers have been conditioned to simply believe: inflexible leave policies bad, flexible leave policies good. ...more

EEOC Commissioner Gives Insight Into Handling Employee Leaves Of Absence After FMLA Is Exhausted

Last week, I had the pleasure of co-presenting with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Our presentation was part of an FMLA/ADA compliance conference hosted...more

4/8/2014  /  ADA , Compliance , EEOC , FMLA , Leave of Absence

Yes! Regular, Reliable Attendance At Work IS Important Under The ADA After All!

No matter what position the EEOC might take, I'll always take the position that an employee's regular, reliable attendance is an essential function of the job. So, when an employee wants to arrive at work at any time,...more

The Lesson Of EEOC v. UPS And Automatic Termination Provisions: Engage In The ADA Interactive Process

Let me share a story about UPS, although in the end, this story has nothing to do with UPS. For about the past 10 years, UPS has maintained a policy of terminating any employees who are unable to return to work after...more

2/19/2014  /  ADA , Disability , EEOC , Termination , UPS

FMLA FAQ: Can Excess Trips To The Potty Be Counted As FMLA Leave?

Q: One of our employees drinks a lot of water at work and goes to the bathroom continuously throughout the day. As a result, she uses far more than her normal breaks allow. ...more

Can An Indefinite Leave Of Absence Be A Reasonable Accommodation?

One of the most difficult issues an HR professional or in-house employment counsel faces is how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave required? ...more

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