Articles Posted in Family and Medical Leave

Yesterday, with my good buddies Casey Sipe and Jessica Miller-Merrell from Blogging4Jobs.com, I presented a webinar on the interplay between the Family and Medical Leave Act, state workers’ compensation laws, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The key word in the last sentence being “interplay.”

(By the way, if you want to snag a copy of that webinar, drop me a line, and I’ll see what I can do about getting you a copy).

One point we emphasized during the webinar is that, for employees taking FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, companies need to have a plan to address the FMLA implications and the potential interplay — there’s that word again — with the ADA. Because, remember, leave may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Continue reading

You wouldn’t want to make the same egregious mistake as a Michigan employer. After the jump, I’ll discuss the colossal screw-up and help you avoid it.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait and listen to some Foo Fighters while you go grab your FMLA policy.

[Two bad words near the end of the Foo Fighters song. So, if you’re going to play it at work. Well, don’t play it at work].

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A gentle reminder that eligible employees can take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent — but not a parent “in-law”) with a serious health condition, like a bad respiratory illness that requires hospitalization.

Please send some good vibes to my little guy, Pierce.

Fact or Fiction?That’s right folks. It’s time for another edition of “Fact or Fiction” a/k/a “Quick Answers to Quick Questions” a/k/a QATQQ f/k/a “I don’t feel like writing a long blog post.”

(Indeed, today, I’m so damn lazy, that I’m republishing a post from last year)

One of your employees is currently using FMLA leave. Today, due to the winter storm, you’ve decided to close the office. 

Do you still count today’s snow-induced office closure towards the 12 workweeks of FMLA to which your employee is entitled?

Answer: It depends.

  • If the employee would have otherwise taken the entire week off on FMLA leave, then today can be charged as an FMLA day just the same.
  • If, however, you employee is using FMLA leave in increments of less than one week, the snow day will not count against the employee’s FMLA entitlement, unless you expect that employee to come to work.

And, after you finishing shoveling today, dig this: Daniel Schwartz breaks down the wage-and-hour implications of today’s big snow. Plus, Christine Stoneburner on why today is not the day to use paid sick leave.

Also, threatening to drag that employee outside and throw him in a ditch. Yeah, that may fracture a law or two. I’m thinking the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Heck, even the Taliban would frown on that.

I got more on this for you after the jump…

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Five minutes ago, after taking the obligatory selfies and between games of Candy Crush, one of your employees texted (because, calling in, as if!) from an Ebola quarantine tent to alert you that she will be out of work for 21 days, while under observation for Ebola.

As an employer, what are your obligations? What workplace laws are implicated?

And, of course, because half of you are thinking it, can you just fire her?

Because this post has nothing to do with clicks or SEO — nothing whatsoever — click through for the answers…

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Remember, over the Summer, when I blogged about how sending FMLA paperwork to an employee via first class mail is a big mistake.

Why? Because if the employee claims not to have received the paperwork, then you have no proof of delivery, and possible FMLA interference issues if the employee is somehow precluded from taking FMLA leave.

So, I offered three alternatives:

  1. Pick a method of delivery that requires a receipt/other proof of delivery with a signature, such as certified mail, overnight delivery.
  2. Hand-delivery at work (with a signature) is pretty good too.
  3. Or email, with a return email from the recipient acknowledging receipt.

Last week, in this opinion, a federal court in Michigan highlighted the importance of confirming receipt when emailing that FMLA paperwork:

Defendant had the right to require Plaintiff to recertify her FMLA leave….Specifically, the issue is whether Defendant (through FMLASource), by informing Plaintiff of the recertification requirement via email, gave Plaintiff proper notice of that requirement…The transmitting of an email, in the absence of any proof that the email had been opened and actually received, can only amount to proof of constructive notice.

Parenthetically, it’s worth noting that, for FMLA re-certification, even oral notice to the employee would suffice. However, oral notice can often devolve into a “he-said/she-said” situation.

So, I’ll say it again. When it comes to satisfying FMLA notice requirements, consult the list above and have proof that the notice was delivered.