Jeff Nowak

Jeff Nowak

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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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

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

1/21/2016 - ADA Employer Liability Issues FMLA Reasonable Accommodation Wage and Hour

FMLA FAQ: Should an Employer Invite to the Holiday Party an Employee out on FMLA Leave ?

‘Tis the season for employer-sponsored holiday parties. And I’ve been queried several times about whether an employer should invite to the annual holiday party all of those employees who presently are on FMLA leave....more

12/16/2015 - Discrimination FMLA Holiday Parties Wage and Hour

Employee Tells a Co-Worker That He Plans to Misuse FMLA Leave. Court Says It's OK to Demote 'Em!

Keith was a manager for Costco. By all accounts, he wasn’t a very good employee. The store disciplined Keith over customer complaints, dress code violations, and failing to perform his job duties. Consequently, he was...more

12/9/2015 - Demotions FMLA Popular Wage and Hour

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

11/19/2015 - ADA FMLA Reasonable Accommodation Wage and Hour Webinar

DOL Continues to Warn Employers of Investigation of Systemic FMLA Issues

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of presenting on complex FMLA issues at the American Bar Association’s Annual Labor and Employment conference. During the session, entitled “The FMLA 20 Years Later,” we covered key FMLA...more

11/16/2015 - Compliance Corporate Counsel DOL FMLA Investigations Recordkeeping Requirements

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Require That an Employee Sign a Form Confirming He Took FMLA Leave for the Reason Provided (To Combat...

Q. In trying to reduce the amount of FMLA abuse in our Company (about 30% usage), we are contemplating having employees returning from FMLA leave complete a form that asks why they were out, had they been out for this reason...more

10/29/2015 - Employee Benefits FMLA Paid Leave PTO Wage and Hour

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

10/20/2015 - ADA Disability Disability Discrimination DOL Drug & Alcohol Abuse EEOC Employment Policies FMLA Football Hiring & Firing Leave of Absence Popular School Sports Sports

The FMLA Marriage Penalty: When Spouses Work for the Same Employer

One FMLA rule that tends to fly under the radar is the amount of FMLA leave available to married couples who work for the same employer. Under 29 CFR 201(b), married couples in this situation can be required to share a...more

10/9/2015 - Employee Benefits FMLA Paid Leave Spouses Unpaid Leave Wage and Hour

When a Manager Makes Even One Stupid Comment after an FMLA Request, the Employer Pays the Price

How would you like to work alongside Jim, who engages in the following behavior: He makes a habit of telling co-workers what they are doing wrong, using a degrading tone of voice, and instigates arguments when doing...more

10/1/2015 - Corporate Counsel FMLA Harassment Managers Wage and Hour Workplace Bullying

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