Articles Posted in Family and Medical Leave

With four years of blogging under my belt, I have a pretty good sense of what may audience comes to expect from this labor and employment law blog:

  • typos
  • grammar errors
  • snark
  • “where does Eric find this stuff” posts

For today’s post, I don’t have enough hats to tip to the many readers who emailed me about this hella-crazy FMLA retaliation complaint. Continue reading

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ADA and Burger King?!? Has someone been eating too many Whoppers? No. But I did spend a 20 minute Uber ride yesterday sucking down mustard packets.

Actually, the inspiration for this post comes from Seattle Attorney, Michael Harrington, who presented “The Wild, the Weird and the Wonderful FMLA/ADAAA Cases…And the Lessons for Employers!” with me yesterday at the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) FMLA/ADAAA Employer Compliance Conference.

(If you want a copy of our PPT, please email me. I got you.)

During the takeaways from our presentation, I went with the tried-and-true, educate your employees about the procedures for requesting FMLA/ADA accommodations, and train your managers how to spot these requests, especially where the letters FMLA or ADA are not used.

But, Mike, who killed it yesterday during our presentation — the Penn to my Teller, the Bart to Milhouse — made it real simple. He suggested that companies train managers who deal with ADA requests to think about Burger King’s old slogan, “Have it your way.”

In other words, adopt a customer service mindset. By asking an employee what the company can do to accommodate a disability, the manager immediately helps promote the goals of the ADA: a good faith interactive dialogue designed to accommodate an employee with a disability to allow that employee to perform the essential functions of the job — unless doing so would create undue hardship for the employer.

So, next time an employee requests an accommodation, extra pickles, hold the tomato, and, “have it your way.”

(Unless there is another reasonable accommodation available or the accommodation would create undue hardship. But, you get the idea).

This one goes out to all of you employees who are contemplating a claim against a former employer for violating the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Read this federal court opinion and make a mental note: when you voluntarily work from home, that’s not “leave” under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Yep, when you choose to work from home, and tell your employer that you are working from home that makes Ford Motor Company angry, you wouldn’t like it when Ford gets angry, your employer doesn’t need to offer you FMLA, or let you know that you qualify for FMLA. Continue reading

Oh, that collective sigh of relief of not receiving a daily email update yesterday from The Employer Handbook. (Yes, you can sign up to receive daily email alerts to my blog).

Folks, I’m sorry. Monday, I was a deadbeat; I didn’t pay my MailChimp bill. So, if you rely upon email to receive my daily blog posts, you missed out Monday on what was probably the post of the year definitely the post of the day.

But, today, I’m all paid up and back in MailChimp’s good graces. They even sent me a my own personal mailchimp. I named him Buddy.

Now where did I put my pills?

Ok, moving on… Continue reading

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.