"leave/FMLA" Blog Tag

MN I gotta do what?

July 8th, 2019 by Ashley Thronson at Fredrikson & Byron

What mn

You gotta make changes because changes have been made to various disclosure, recordkeeping, commission and/or sick leave requirements. And Bruce Boudreau, like you, wants to know what they are.

Lucky for you and Bruce that Ashley Thronson has laid out your need-to-know in 800 words (or thereabouts). And for those of you who are PBS fans, she does it without an Australian accent, dontcha know.

Workplace leave for fathers who know best

June 17th, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Father knows best

In celebration of yesterday being Father's Day, and to avoid any sort of discrimination charge or group protest (Quiz Equity? Father Mother Level Access? Primary Caregivers Are People Too?) because we already posted Robin Shea's "Moms in the Workplace" quiz!, here is her "Dads in the workplace" quiz!*

* We believe that the use and/or non-use of capital letters and/or punctuation is a right of every writer / reader / phonetic punctuator, so talk to the hand.

"Moms in the Workplace" quiz!

May 10th, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constangy

Mom at nw game 2

My Mom quiz experience had a "Groundhog Day" quality to it: the same quiz every time, one question, yes/no.

"Didn't I tell you to clean your room?"

Bill Murray eventually learned to play the piano, right?

Robin Shea helps us celebrate our Moms with a six-question, open book, multiple choice quiz with a grading scale from "Little Women" to "Throw Mama From the Train".  And I learned how to make a flower with my keyboard.

Happy Mother's Day Moms!

FMLA - speak clearly and carefully and explicitly

April 25th, 2019 by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

What not to say to an employee seeking FMLA leave:

  • "I'll take care of it."
  • "You're terminated."
  • "What's FMLA?"
  • "I will obtain the required form from the doctor for you but then just fax the form and forget about it."

Fiona Ong shares a story and some lessons and calls her teenagers crazy. 

Better parental leave or you better believe parents leave

March 18th, 2019 by Jake Rubenstein at Cozen O'Connor

Which comes first, the parent or the leave?

Jake Rubenstein summarizes five cutting-edge parental leave benefits you can use to attract top talent in a job market with historically low unemployment. Because if you aren't offering them, maybe your competitors are. And you know what that means:

Parents leave.

Why You Should Care About Employment Law

January 16th, 2019 by Jenny Goltz at Cozen O'Connor

Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, there are a few very common employment law pitfalls that all emerging com...

Employers beware - what you say can and will be used against you

November 20th, 2018 by Darryl McCallum at Shawe Rosenthal

The FMLA leave has two very bright-line disqualifications, right?

  1. Your employee has worked for less than one year.
  2. Your employee has not worked a total of 1,250 hours.

Check both of those boxes and FMLA leave is off the table. Period. End of discussion.

Except not.

Darryl McCallum explains what went wrong (think assurances), how to avoid the wrong (think communicate and document) and how it may have been worse (think ADA, then shudder).

Holiday stew – ingredients for a happy and non-litigious holiday

November 19th, 2018 by hrsimple

Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.

Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-how to help you salvage your holiday stew, including 1/2 half dry cup Secret Santa, 2 - 3 jiggers holiday party(s) - adjust accordingly, 1 medium ugly sweater, 14 oz box decorations (workplace or workspace, depending on your preference), enough year-end bonus calculation to make your eyes water

My holiday stew was oyster stew that my Mom made for Christmas Eve. Never did learn why.

Election leave – employer's civic duty, migraine, or just wishful thinking (election, leave!)

October 25th, 2018 by Deidra Nguyen at Littler Mendelson

As election season reaches full intensity (i.e., political ads have almost convinced you that no one is qualified to hold an elective office, let alone be a human being), Deidra Nguyen tells the story of election leave in this edition of Dear Littler:

What is the story with employee election leave? 

Disability/pregnancy practices – what not to practice

October 16th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy

If nothing else, you want to read Robin Shea's blog because she makes a good in-context Kate Gosselin reference. Of course there is "else" which includes stuff you need to work through:

  • DON'T automatically terminate
  • DON'T automatically terminate (no, I DIDN'T stutter, there are two)
  • NO 100% recovered policy
  • "TEMPORARY" can mean a lot of things, like "disability" and "protected"
  • Medical exams/questionnaires – 10 words for you: STOP CHILDREN WHAT'S THAT SOUND EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT'S GOING DOWN.

There is also a picture that is not the Official "Grumpy Cat".

FMLA leave before being eligible for FMLA leave

October 4th, 2018 by Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas at Polsinelli

Question: Does an employer have to offer FMLA to an employee – who was not eligible for FMLA at the start of her medical leave – when she reaches the 12-month, 1,250-hour requirement while out on leave? 

Answer: Could happen.

Question: Says who?

Answer: Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas.

No call/no show shows. No what about it.

September 26th, 2018 by hrsimple

No call. No show. Assume they quit. Find a replacement. Move on.

Then who shows up but Ms. Nocall Noshow.

Now what?

Notice: notices and forms for FMLA that were already expired now updated virtually unchanged

September 7th, 2018 by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

The DOL, FMLA and OMB walk into a bar.

FMLA: "Woe is me, my forms and notices expired on May 31, 2018."

DOL: "No problem, I'll just extend the expiration date month-to-month while we await OMB approval. I wish my husband had an expiration date!"

(canned laughter)

OMB: "Alright already, they are approved, essentially unchanged, and won't expire until August 31, 2021! Sheesh."

Bartender: "I better start using the new forms and notices now to avoid liability for compensation and benefits lost by reason of the violation, for other actual monetary losses sustained as a direct result of the violation, and for appropriate equitable or other relief, including employment, reinstatement promotion, or other relief tailored to the harm suffered."

(wink at camera)  

School-related parental leave does not mean you forge a note from your kid

September 4th, 2018 by Jason Plowman at Polsinelli

Ahhh, yes. Labor Day is now behind us and it is finally time to pack up our white pants and ship our kids off to school! As your staff prepares to wave good-bye to their young-ins, you should be prepared to wave hello to requests for school-related time off with help from your tutor, Jason Plowman at Polsinelli.

Round up stew: sick leave, harassment, non-compete, etc.

August 28th, 2018 by Shenna Harris at Squire Patton Boggs

Attention. Attention. The following jurisdictions had stuff change:


That is not all. Stuff will continue to change. That's life.*

*That's what people say, flying high in April, shot down in May.

PTO on the house!

June 29th, 2018 by Kat Cunnignham, president of Moresource Inc.

Name a benefit that employees want, doesn't cost anything, reduces paperwork and can boost morale and productivity.

Paid time off.

But there are potential downsides and questions you need to ask (and more important, answer) before announcing this wonder benefit to your staff. Kat Cunningham, president of Moresources Inc. lays them out for you.

No FMLA for pet's death

March 23rd, 2018 by Fiona W. Ong at Shawe Rosenthal

Fiona s dog

The Family and Medical Leave Act does not provide leave to care for an ill or dying pet. (Because a pet is not technically a family member. Really. Despite how we pet-owners feel about our fur babies. That’s mine in the picture.) But I also said that, “if an employee becomes depressed because of the death of a pet, it is possible that this could rise to the level of a disability that would require a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or a serious health condition for which leave must be granted under the [Family and Medical Leave Act].” I further noted, however, that most people may experience grief but not become clinically depressed as the result of a pet’s death. So my interest was piqued by a recent case in which the employee claimed that his insomnia following his dog’s death was a serious health condition under the FMLA.

FMLA definitions

January 22nd, 2018 by Nancy Van der Veer Holt at Ford Harrison LLP

FMLA coverage for employers

As with other employment-related statutes, the FMLA applies only to certain employers. Under the FMLA, an "employer" is:

  • any person engaged in commerce or in any industry affecting commerce who employs 50 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including:
    • any successor in interest of an employer
    • any person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of an employer to any of the employer’s employees (NOTE: Several courts have concluded that supervisors can be held individually liable under this provision of the FMLA.)
  • any public agency.

The following entities are also covered by the FMLA:

FMLA - "leave" as in "leave the employee alone"

January 10th, 2018 by hrsimple


FMLA contains "leave", as in "the employee isn't at work" but also as in "leave the employee alone or else". See what the boundaries are to avoid the "or else" from one of our authors @Ogletree Deakins.

Paternity leave

December 29th, 2017 by hrsimple

Sometimes referred to as “family leave” or “parental leave”, paternity leave is an excused absence from work to care for and bond with a new child - whether by birth, adoption, or foster. This leave can vary in duration and may be paid or unpaid.

Are employers required to offer paternity leave?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees of companies with a staff of 50 or larger are guaranteed twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth. This leave is job-protected leave meaning the employee must return to the same (or comparable) position and same wages upon completing leave. The FMLA also requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave.

Does paternity leave need to be paid?

The FMLA does not provide for any pay during leave, and there are currently no federal paid paternity leave requirements in the United States - making it the only industrialized nation in the world that does not require paid time off for new parents.

However, 25 states have amended the FMLA further to provide for longer leave or lowering the minimum employer size to below 50. Four of these states . . .

Paid family leave: a growing trend

December 29th, 2017 by hrsimple

Legally mandated family leave policies have a relatively short history in the United States, and a requirement that the leave be paid is even shorter. In 1993, Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) after finding that employees were having to choose between working and taking care of their family members. The purpose and goal of the FMLA is to assist employees in balancing work demands and family needs by providing eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave under certain circumstances and to promote equal employment opportunities by granting leaves on a gender-neutral basis. 

Though United States lags behind most of the world on paid family leave laws, these types of laws are quickly gaining ground. Much like the recent rise of paid sick leave and “ban-the-box” laws, this movement has begun on the city and state level. Here is a breakdown of some current state-mandated paid family leave laws: