Articles Posted in Family and Medical Leave


I’m feeling generous today. And that’s strange because usually I spend my Fridays dangling hundred dollar bills down to the street from a fishing pole in my office, trying to avoid the catch. But, the past few days changed my mindset.

You see, earlier in the week I was introduced to an in-house lawyer who was seeking information on the Family and Medical Leave Act. And, as it so happens, yesterday I received an email from a reader of the blog. Well, not just any reader. This email was from one of my best readers. And she just started a new FMLA blog called Matrix Radar: Adventures in Absence Management and Accommodation. The name alone sounds like something that would not only satisfy the needs of the biggest FMLA dork, but also supply me with the Director’s Cut of Neo and Trinity rescuing Morpheus.

Well, 50% ain’t bad. And I recommend that y’all check out Matrix Radar.



One word: Outsource.

See you tomorrow.

Oh, you mean some of you actually do this yourselves?!? Ok. As you should know, in certain circumstances eligible employees may take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule. Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason.

Here’s how to account for intermittent FMLA leave. Continue reading

Ferris wheel at Eagle Pass carnival IMG 2086

Yesterday, I asked you — and when I say you, I’m referring to the best change-agents in the entire universe — whether you were cool with the government requiring your businesses to provide a modest amount of paid family and medical leave to employees.

Of those who responded to the poll — I’m talking the thought-leaders here who clearly deserve a place at the table — 53% said yes; 41% said no.

The rest of you said “baba booey.”

Regardless of how or whether you responded to the poll — I’ll hunt down every last one of you who didn’t — everyone enjoys a carnival, right? You supply the cotton candy, turkey legs, and deep-fried margarine (I like mine with extra cheese), I’ll connect you to the Post-Labor Day: Employment Law Blog Carnival. It’s a Tilt-a-Whirl of all the best employment-law posts from bloggers around the country. A special thank you to Andrea Paris for hosting this month’s ELBC.

By Billy Hathorn at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons


Last week, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave. More on that here. The Department of Labor has a roadshow and social media campaign, through which it is touting the benefits of paid family and medical leave. And the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act is currently pending in Congress. This bill would provide create a family and medical leave insurance program.

As the debate over government-mandated paid sick leave continues, Patrick Kulp at Mashable reports here that over 200 faculty members from 88 institutions across the country, including MBA programs at NYU, Harvard and Wharton, have signed this open letter calling upon Congress to adopt a national paid family and medical leave policy.

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The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for a variety of reasons, including for one’s own serious health condition. An employee with a serious health condition can take FMLA leave if the employee satisfies three additional requirements:

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The SHRM blog does, silly. But, I can link to the preview (here) and the recap (here). Definitely check those out. Allen Smith, Manager of workplace law content at SHRM, and a host of others did a great job fielding questions about the ADA and FMLA issues that keep HR professionals up at night.

(Me? I sleep comfortably on a pile of money on top of another pile of money. Thanks for asking.)

P.S. – Special shout out to my little guy Pierce, who turns three today. May next year bring him his first body bopper victory over his older sister.

Apple in HandOk, presumably, I’m not the only employment lawyer trying to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to the employer-employee relationship. But, I can guarantee that this will be the best post you read about it today.

#noguarantees Continue reading


Yep, in this precedential opinion, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals created a Family and Medical Leave Act loophole that could protect “the most frivolous leave requests.”

Folks, if your business is covered under the FMLA, and you’ve ever had to deal with a questionable medical certification for an employee’s serious health condition, read on…

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Here they are:

Now, I haven’t run my full dork analytics on these jawns. However, just by eyeballing them, I can see that the Department of Labor has finally acknowledged a little statute called the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act*** slow clap *** While the forms don’t contain the full GINA safe-harbor language, the DOL does remind both employers and health care providers to comply with GINA.

(And, hey, y’all! If you notice any other changes in the new forms, hit me up in the comments below).

You don’t have to use these forms verbatim; that is, you can tweak them — provided that you still comply with the FMLA (e.g., by spelling out the safe harbor). But, if you are inclined to use the DOL’s FMLA forms, ditch the old ones that expired in February, and use these.


Y’all enjoy yesterday’s Thursday Giveaway. (Y’all, huh. Look at me. You can take the boy out of Texas, but…). Anyway, if you missed out on getting a copy of that background check PowerPoint and webinar, just send me 1.21 gigawatts, Libyan-grade plutonium, and a selfie stick email me and I’ll still hook you up.

Now, let’s talk about notice under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Specifically, in those situations in which an employee doesn’t use the letters F-M-L-A, what can that employee say or do to still qualify for leave? Continue reading