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

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

FMLA & Medical Certification: When Does An Employer Have A "Reason to Doubt"?

Given the financial and administrative costs that FMLA continues to impose upon employers, HR managers are consulting with counsel to determine what tools are available to ensure that those who truly need FMLA leave are able...more

DOL Proposes Rulemaking to Amend Definition of "Spouse" for FMLA

In 2013, the United States Supreme Court held, in U.S. v. Windsor, that the Defense of Marriage Act's limitation of "marriage" and "spouse" to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. Thereafter, President Obama instructed...more

Dodd-Frank Does Not Bar Arbitration Of Claims If Arbitration Agreement Does Not Exempt Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The Fourth Circuit affirmed order from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia compelling arbitration of former employee’s federal claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA),...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

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

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed FMLA Rule that Offers Equal Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses

On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). If adopted, employees in same-sex marriages...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

Polsinelli Podcasts - Best Kept Secrets of the Americans WIth Disabilities Act [Video]

It may be one of the best kept secrets impacting employers. Amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act now means extended leave beyond the Family and Medical Leave Act is considered reasonable for employees under the...more

DOL Seeks to Extend FMLA Rights Relating to Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 27, 2014, announcing a proposal that would expand the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include all...more

FMLA Leave – Follow Up on Expected Return to Work

An employee who returns to work at the end of FMLA leave may be entitled to reinstatement, even if the employer wasn’t expecting her. In Gienapp v. Harbor Crest, No. 14-1053 (7th Cir., June 24, 2014), the employee requested...more

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

FMLA Leave Requests: Do Employees Need to Specify the Expected Duration of Leave?

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), whether an employee is required to specify the expected duration of leave on a FMLA application depends on whether the leave is categorized as foreseeable or unforeseeable leave. If...more

eTrends - Proposed Rule Would Revise FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse”

The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) has proposed a rule to revise the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”) to afford same-sex married couples the same rights as heterosexual...more

DOL Proposes Change to FMLA Definition of Spouse to Accommodate Same-Sex Marriage

As was expected, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation changing the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes in order to protect the FMLA rights of employees with same-sex spouses. The proposed...more

The Family is Getting Bigger: Starting July 2014 California’s Paid Family Leave Expands

I’m not quite sure why California felt it was necessary to effectuate key changes to employment laws in the middle of summer when most of us are trying to break away from work and enjoy our vacations. As we recently discussed...more

Ripples of Windsor: DOL Seeking to Expand the FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse”

Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013). The Supremes ruled that section 3 of DOMA...more

DOL Proposes to Extend FMLA Definitions of Spouse to All Same-Sex Marriages

Last Friday, the Department of Labor announced a series of changes to federal regulations intended to expand federal benefits to same-sex spouses. Among the changes are proposed revisions to the definition of “spouse” under...more

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Change Rule Regarding Who Is a Same-Sex Spouse under the FMLA

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its intention to change the regulatory definition of who is a “spouse” for purposes of the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The impetus for the...more

Same-sex marriage and the FMLA: What you need to know

As most of you have heard by now, the U.S. Department of Labor has provided a “sneak preview” of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act. The proposed changes would...more

Supermarket Chain Takes $536,000 Hit for Bungling FMLA Request

A former employee of a Connecticut supermarket chain was recently awarded approximately $536,000 in a wrongful-termination suit filed after he was fired when he took time off for back surgery. A jury found the supermarket...more

Employee's Failure To Follow Call-In Procedures Dooms FMLA Claims

Managing intermittent FMLA leaves is often challenging for employers. However, a recent case reinforces the requirement that employees must comply with reasonable call-in procedures to report FMLA absences. Following a recent...more

Long Term Care Providers Take Note: The Top Five Employment Law Mistakes to Avoid

Americans love top ten lists. In that love-for-lists spirit, and in an effort to be informative, we list below the top five employment law mistakes that long term care employers need to avoid. 1. Implementing a...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 42: Military Veterans And Their...

Veterans’ rights have always been a hot-button political issue, but it took several military conflicts for Congress to confront the employment rights of private sector military veterans. In the wake of Vietnam War, two wars...more

Labor Dept. Proposes to Extend FMLA Protections To Eligible Employees In Same-Sex Marriages

A rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor would extend the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of where they live. The FMLA allows...more

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