Jeff Nowak

Jeff Nowak

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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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

Think Like a World Cup Goalie to Avoid the Paralysis of FMLA Abuse

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been swept up in the excitement of the World Cup over the past couple of weeks. However, now that we have entered the Round of 16, one thing leaves me both fascinated and unsettled about the...more

7/2/2014 - Audits Best Management Practices FMLA FMLA Abuse

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp. She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year...more

6/20/2014 - Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Retaliation Termination

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

President Obama plans to announce today a proposed rule that would 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. ...more

6/20/2014 - DOMA Employee Rights ERISA FMLA Marriage Paid Leave Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

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

6/3/2014 - ADA EEOC Employee Rights FMLA Paid Leave Unpaid Leave

FMLA FAQ: Am I Required to Pay My Employee for Holidays Occurring During FMLA Leave?

There must be something in the water, but several clients have asked me this week whether they are required to pay an employee for the Memorial Day holiday even though the employee was out on FMLA leave. ...more

5/29/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues FMLA Holidays Sick Leave Wages

FMLA FAQ: Can An Employer Require A Doctor's Note For Each Intermittent FMLA Absence?

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of presenting on complex FMLA issues for attorneys and HR professionals attending several seminars sponsored by the National Employment Law Institute (NELI), which puts on some...more

5/21/2014 - FMLA Medical Leave Physicians

Employer's Improper And Untimely FMLA Notices Didn't Harm Employee, So No FMLA Violation

Here’s a shout out to all you employers out there who forget to send your employees the proper FMLA notices when they seek leave for a reason covered by the FMLA. Occasionally, the courts have your back, despite your lack of...more

5/9/2014 - Employer Mandates FMLA Hiring & Firing Leave of Absence Notice Requirements

Employer Can Seek Second Opinion After Doctor Finds Employee Fit To Return From FMLA Leave

On a number of occasions, we have discussed whether an employer can keep an employee out on FMLA leave even though they want to return, or whether an employer can require an employee to undergo a full medical examination...more

4/30/2014 - FMLA Healthcare Medical Examinations

New DOL FMLA Branch Chief: Expect Even More On-Site FMLA Investigations And Focus On Systemic FMLA Compliance Issues

This past December, the Department of Labor quietly turned its FMLA enforcement over to a new leader. After the retirement of FMLA Branch Chief Diane Dawson, who led the DOL’s FMLA enforcement for several years, the DOL...more

4/24/2014 - Compliance DOL Enforcement Actions FMLA Investigations

FMLA FAQ: Can An Employer Force An Employee On FMLA Leave When The Employee Wants To Continue To Work?

Q: This week, one of our employees professed her love to one of her co-workers (who is married) and announced to everyone that they had been dating. The problem is — it’s not true. ...more

4/17/2014 - FMLA Mental Health Sick Leave

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

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