Family Medical Leave Act Employee Benefits

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

Same-Sex Marriage Rulings May Pose Some Challenges for Employers

Over the past two years, there has been a sea change in the treatment of same-sex spouses under both federal and state law. Now that federal law, and the laws in 35 states and Washington, D.C., recognize marriage equality for...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

5 Key Employment Law Challenges for In-House Counsel

5 employment law challenges that in-house counsel will face in the coming year and how to get out ahead of them....more

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages....more

DOL Wants FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking to extend coverage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling that federal benefits cannot be limited based on a...more

No Return Date, No Problem: Seventh Circuit Reverses FMLA Summary Judgment for Employer

On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an employee did not forfeit her right to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for her seriously ill adult daughter by...more

FMLA Benefits May Be Extended for Same-Sex Spouses

Under current law, an eligible employee may take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a same-sex spouse only if they reside in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. If the employee lives in a state...more

Ninth Circuit Approves Employees' Right to Strategically Decline FMLA Leave In Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms

Under the Ninth Circuit’s recent holding in Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., 743 F.3d 1236 (9th Cir. 2014), many employees now have greater flexibility to extend family and medical leave beyond the typical 12-week limit...more

FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

President Barack Obama announced recently that he is directing the Department of Labor to propose a rule making legally married, same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all fifty...more

PA Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban – Employers Face Significant Changes in Employee Benefits and Leave Administration

As a result of the same-sex marriage ban in Pennsylvania being overturned and recent IRS guidance, employers need to be aware of – and immediately implement – significant changes in employee benefit programs and Family and...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

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

Employees May Affirmatively Decline To Use FMLA Leave - When Requesting Leave for An FMLA-Covered Reason, According to the Ninth...

In a decision filed on February 25, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that employees may affirmatively decline to use leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), even if the...more

ERISA Retaliation Claims: Avoiding Potential Employer Pitfalls

Most employers and human resources professionals are well aware of the various federal discrimination statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age...more

Vegas vacation protected by the FMLA

Last month, in Ballard v. Chicago Park District (Case No. 13-1445, 7th Cir. 1/28/14), a federal court of appeals addressed whether an employee was eligible for FMLA leave while vacationing in Las Vegas with her terminally ill...more

New Jersey "Sandy" Law Preserves Employee Eligibility for Leave and Benefits

To be eligible for leave under New Jersey's Family Leave Act (FLA) or the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act), an employee must have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,000 base hours...more

Is An “Unlimited” Leave Policy Good Business For You?

A growing number of businesses are considering “unlimited” leave policies for their exempt employees. Unlimited leave policies are excellent recruiting and retention tools that can foster a culture of trust and productivity...more

New Year Means New Laws for Public Employers in California

Like death and taxes, new employment laws are inevitable with each new year. In 2014, public employees are facing a bevy of new laws, including those that address leave, discrimination and retirement benefits and those that...more

RI Increased Employee Absences (and Headaches) due to the 2014 Temporary Caregiver Leave Law

Effective January 1, 2014, all Rhode Island employers must allow their employees four (4) weeks of time off per year under the Temporary Caregiver Insurance (“TCI”) Law. Like Temporary Disability Insurance ("TDI"), the...more

Update – Administering Benefits in a Post-DOMA World

Here is a brief update to our September 24, 2013 alert, which addressed the administration of employee benefits as well as federal income taxes and FMLA leave following this summer’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in United...more

Illinois Set To Legalize Same-Sex Marriages; Employers Must Take Numerous Steps To Comply With The Law By June 2014

On November 20, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which the Illinois General Assembly passed last week and which will make Illinois either the 15th or 16th state to...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2013: The World Post-Windsor: Rethinking Benefit And Leave Policies For Same-Sex Spouses

Following a highly-publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent guidance from both the Labor Department (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employers need to rethink how they treat same-sex spouses under...more

Can Employer Who Has Granted Employee's FMLA Request Dispute Employee's FMLA Eligibility?

An employee sends an email to her manager requesting FMLA leave to care for her father "while he deals with issues surrounding his terminally ill brother." The supervisor writes back, "Approved," and the employee takes...more

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act: What are the changes for employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because...more

FMLA Rights Extended to Same-Sex Spouses Based on Law of State Where Employee Resides

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently updated Fact Sheet #28F: Qualifying Reasons for Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the term “spouse” includes a...more

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