Jeff Nowak

Jeff Nowak

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process?  Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart....more

3/17/2015 - FMLA FMLA Certification Forms Hiring & Firing Medical Certification Requests Medical Leave Retaliation Termination Wrongful Termination

Check Out ABA's Summary of 2014 FMLA Court Decisions -- An Excellent Resource for Employers

Want to read about nearly FMLA case that was either dismissed or allowed to advance toward trial? Want a snapshot of what employers got right and what they got wrong in the land of FMLA?...more

3/11/2015 - American Bar Association FMLA Information Reports

It's March 2015. The DOL's Model FMLA Forms Expired Just Days Ago. Now What?

On February 28, 2015, the DOL’s recommended FMLA forms expired. And on March 1, the sun still rose in the east. Life, as we know it, forged on. It’s anyone’s guess as to when new FMLA forms will be issued, so in the...more

3/3/2015 - DOL FMLA Required Forms

DOL Issues Final Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Here's Everything Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. This...more

2/24/2015 - Corporate Counsel DOL DOMA Final Rules FMLA Legal History Same-Sex Marriage Spouses US v Windsor

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

2/4/2015 - ADA Chief Compliance Officers Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates FMLA Human Resources Professionals Professional Conferences

Employer's Poorly Drafted FMLA Policy Allows Employee to Advance FMLA Claim (That Should Have Never Seen the Light of Day)

If this story won’t cause you bring your FMLA policy up to snuff, then I’ve lost all hope. FMLA’s Basic Premise - An employee is eligible for FMLA leave if he meets three basic criteria: With this backdrop in...more

1/28/2015 - Employee Handbooks Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies FMLA Wrongful Termination

Employer Requires Employee to Work During FMLA Leave. Ummmm, Is This a Problem?

Sure, Joan, you can take a leave of absence, but you’re still going to work while you’re out, right? Is this problem?  I guess it depends on whether or not you’re Joan. Let me explain. ...more

1/22/2015 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA Leave of Absence

FMLA FAQ: How Do I Calculate FMLA Leave Where My Employee's Work Schedule Varies From Week to Week?

Q: Several of my employees’ workweeks vary from week to week.  Some might work 30 hours one week and 40 hours the following week. How do I calculate their intermittent FMLA leave in any given week?...more

1/9/2015 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA

The Best of 2014: Sending FMLA Notices by Mail/Email, Requiring Doctor's Notes for Intermittent FMLA Absences Among Most Popular...

It’s the final week of the year, so while everyone else in the world is playing with their latest version of iPhone and other new electronic gadgets, I spend my time analyzing this year’s FMLA blog posts and agonizing over...more

1/2/2015 - Email Employer Liability Issues FMLA Medical Certification Requests Notice Requirements Written Notice

FMLA FAQ: Is An Employer Required to Pay a Prorated Amount of Annual Bonus after Employee Takes FMLA Leave?

It’s the end of the year. And with the end of the year comes questions from my clients about whether they need to account for an employee’s FMLA leave when doling out year-end bonuses. In other words, is an employer...more

12/24/2014 - Bonuses FMLA Wage and Hour

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

12/19/2014 - ADA Corporate Counsel Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA Reasonable Accommodation

When an Employee Falls Off a Ladder at Work, is His Absence Covered by FMLA? An Employer's Misstep Discussed...

Note to self: When one of my employees: -falls off a ladder at work, is taken to urgent care by the company’s HR Director, asks whether the FMLA would apply to his absence, then, as a result of his doctor’s orders,...more

12/5/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Employer Liability Issues FMLA Reasonable Accommodation Workplace Injury

"I Got Stuck in the Blood Pressure Machine at the Grocery Store and Couldn't Get Out!": How Employers Deal with the Most...

Don’t you hate it when someone glues your windows and doors shut so you cannot make it to work? Hasn’t happened to you? According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, this may very well have happened to one of your co-workers...more

11/7/2014 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA FMLA Abuse

When an Employee Requests FMLA Leave for a Workplace Injury, Is the Employer Required to Report it as an OSHA Event?

An issue that implicates both the FMLA and OSHA? Normally, I’d yawn and take a cat nap along with you. But this one is sufficiently interesting: If an employee returns FMLA medical certification confirming the need for...more

10/31/2014 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA OSHA Reporting Requirements Workplace Injury

Court Determines that Employer's FMLA Notice Sent by Email is Not Reliable (Sending Employer World into Tizzy)

We have a mini-FMLA crisis on our hands this week, and the courts are to blame. This issue involves the FMLA notices that employers send to employees, but more importantly, the delivery route in which they send them....more

10/23/2014 - Compliance Email Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA

What Employers Can Learn from Physicians When It Comes to Administering the FMLA

Earlier this month, I took one for the team. And I survived. I had the privilege of presenting to a number of employers and health care providers at the annual “Impairment Without Disability” conference, an event...more

10/16/2014 - Corporate Counsel FMLA Healthcare Healthcare Professionals Physicians

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

10/6/2014 - ADA Compliance Corporate Counsel Employee Rights FMLA

Are You a Co-Employer? FMLA Joint Employer Liability Can Be Deadly

To be covered by the FMLA, a private employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile area. If the employer doesn’t meet this threshold, it is not obligated to provide FMLA leave to its employees. However, an...more

9/25/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA Franchises Joint Employers

FMLA FAQ: Can We Terminate an Employee for Working a Second Job While on FMLA Leave?

If the employer has a uniformly-applied policy governing outside or supplemental employment, such a policy may continue to apply to an employee while on FMLA leave. An employer which does not have such a policy may not deny...more

9/19/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Termination

Employer Rejects Employee's Fitness for Duty Certification, Faces FMLA Liability

The story is for all you hunt and peck typists out there. But its message is a lesson for all employers when it comes to returning your employee from FMLA leave....more

9/12/2014 - Best Management Practices Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Fitness for Duty Exams FMLA Hiring & Firing

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Persuade an Employee to Work Instead of Taking FMLA Leave Because Her Job is Really Important?

Evans was employed by Books-A-Million (BAM) as a payroll manager. Evans apparently became pregnant at an inopportune time — right at a time when BAM was implementing a new payroll system. As supervisors are prone to do,...more

8/29/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Pregnancy

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

8/8/2014 - ADA Corporate Counsel Email Employer Liability Issues FMLA Mailbox Rule Notice Requirements

Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are...more

7/31/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Migraine Termination

Dear Employers: We Have to Stop Sticking It to Pregnant Moms and Expectant Dads

A few employers apparently have made some rather foolish decisions lately when terminating the employment of an expectant parent, and it’s making the rest of us look like we don’t care much for moms and dads or, for that...more

7/28/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Pregnancy Discrimination Termination

Did a Court Just Allow an Employee FMLA Leave to Care for Her Grandchild?

Grandparents across America are celebrating this week. And they have Suzan Gienapp to thank. Here’s why: Suzan, who worked for Harbor Crest (a nursing home), informed her manager in January 2011 that she needed time off...more

7/14/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Grandparents Rights

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