Family Medical Leave Act

The Family Medical Leave Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1993 to protect employees from negative employment consequences associated with family illness. The FMLA allows covered employees to take... more +
The Family Medical Leave Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1993 to protect employees from negative employment consequences associated with family illness. The FMLA allows covered employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave, in order to care for a qualified family member or address a personal medical issue.   Situations covered under the Act include: birth of a child and care of a newborn; placement of an adopted or foster child; serious illness of an employee's spouse, child or parent;  serious illness of the employee that affects ability to perform his/her job; situations arising out of an employee's spouse, child or parent's active military service. Employees who take leave to care for a seriously injured family servicemember are eligible for longer periods of covered leave.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Employment Law Checkup 2014

Each year usually starts with a lot of resolutions and good intentions that fall by the wayside, mostly for lack of a plan. One resolution of all employers should be to update their policies and practices to comply with the...more

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

Regulation Review Committee Ready To Consider New Paraprofessional FMLA Regulations

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Legislative Regulation Review Committee will consider the Department of Labor’s proposed paraprofessional Family Medical Leave Act, or “FMLA” regulations at its April 22, 2014 meeting....more

Eleventh Circuit Holds that Terminated Employee Can Waive FMLA Claims Through the Date of a Release

In a victory for common sense, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that an employee could not pursue Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims against her former employer...more

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Employee's Request for FMLA Leave for Possible Health Conditions

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to deal with, among other things, a serious health condition. What happens, however, when the FMLA leave request is based...more

Paternity Leave Up To Bat: What Employers Should Know To Avoid Striking Out

Paternity leave is back in the spotlight after New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, decided to take his contractually guaranteed three days of paternity leave for the birth of his son—a decision which resulted in his...more

Court: Regular Attendance Is an Essential Job Function

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance can be challenging, as employers attempt to decipher whether a specific situation falls under the definitions of the law, such as when they must provide accommodations to an...more

Depressed Employee’s Vacation Leave Request Did Not Qualify For FMLA Protection

The vacation request of an employee suffering from depression and anxiety did not qualify as a leave request under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), according to a recent decision of the Eleventh Circuit Court of...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

According to Ninth Circuit, Employee Can Decline Use of FMLA Leave for Qualifying Reason

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides eligible employees with a legal entitlement to unpaid leave in qualifying circumstances. Many employers have run into a situation where an employee who qualifies for FMLA leave,...more

Removal From Key Account And Placement On Performance Improvement Plan Not “Adverse Employment Actions,” New Jersey District Court...

In order to state a retaliation claim under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a plaintiff must establish that his employer took an adverse employment action against him that was causally related to his FMLA...more

Ninth Circuit Rejects Suit Brought By Worker Who Expressly Declined To Take FMLA Leave

Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Nos. 11-17608 and 12-15320 (February 25, 2014): In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee can affirmatively decline to use leave under the Family and...more

I Need a Vacation, Doctor’s Orders

Having a chronic serious health condition doesn’t entitle an employee to take leave whenever he chooses. Even if the leave would be medically beneficial, it has to correspond to a period of incapacity. In Hurley v. Kent of...more

Employees Can't Take FMLA Leave For "Potential" Absences In The Future

Did you ever have an employee tell you that he has medical condition "x," which will require time off at some point in the future? Normally, you tactfully tell him to come back when he actually needs time off, correct?...more

Did You Know...Depression Does Not Automatically Qualify An Employee For FMLA Leave

In recent years, employers have been bombarded by increasing numbers of lawsuits by employees with mental disabilities alleging discrimination and retaliation. These lawsuits are based on a variety of theories including...more

Employees May Choose to Use Vacation Instead of FMLA or CFRA Leave for Medical Absences

The Ninth Circuit (California) held in Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc. that an employee can choose to use vacation instead of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) or California Family Rights Act...more

Employment Law

Same-Sex Harassment Suits Yield Sizable Settlements - Why it matters: Same-sex sexual harassment made headlines recently after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached settlements with two different...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2014

In February, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance, which limits when and to what extent employers can inquire into the criminal history of applicants and employees. The ordinance also...more

Employer Requiring Doctor's Note for Intermittent Leave Violated FMLA

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon recently held that an employer's requirement that employees on intermittent leave provide a doctor's note for each absence violated the Family and Medical Leave Act...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict For Employer, Holding That Employee Affirmatively Declined to Take FMLA Leave

In Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a jury verdict in favor of an employer on an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims. The employer discharged Escriba...more

FMLA FAQ: Can An Employer Designate FMLA Leave When An Employee Refuses To Provide Medical Certification?

I received a ton of feedback last week in response to my post about whether an employee can decline FMLA leave even though the absence qualifies under the Act. One question, in particular, was thrown at me repeatedly, and it...more

Irregular Attendance May Render An Employee With A Disability "Unqualified"

In a recent case, Daniel Mecca v. Florida Health Services Center, Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-02561 (M.D. Fla. February 3, 2014), a federal court in Florida held that where regular attendance is an "essential function" of a...more

Did You Know…Update re California Family Rights Act (CFRA) – Proposed Pending Amendments

As you know in the past we have provided updates regarding changes with respect to the leave laws. Now on February 21, 2014, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing Council published proposed amendments to the...more

Can An Employee Decline FMLA Leave Even Though The Absence Is Covered By The Act?

What do you do when one of your employees has informed you of what clearly is an FMLA-triggering event (she needs to care for her dad who is seriously ill in the hospital), but then tells you she doesn't want the absence...more

Tenth Circuit Rules On "Termination By Committee"

On January 21, a federal appeals court addressed whether an employee terminated by group decision (six managers) can be considered “similarly situated” to employees who were disciplined less severely by a different decisional...more

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