Opinion letters from the U.S. Department of Labor are pretty unusual, so I get really excited when they issue one. And typically, the letter addresses an issue of some significance for employers. So I was giddy (GIDDY, I say!) when I saw a new one had just dropped – until I actually read it. Three times, because I thought I was missing something. But really, it just affirms what I already thought about the Family and Medical Leave Act and holidays. At least it’s a good reminder of how to deal with holidays under the FMLA. Continue Reading (Not Terribly Useful) Guidance from the DOL on the FMLA and Holidays
On February 9, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on how to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as to teleworking employees. Although intended for DOL staff, the Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) provides employers with insight into the DOL’s position on issues arising under these two laws, including: (1) compensation under the FLSA, (2) protections under the FLSA that provide reasonable break time for nursing employees, and (3) eligibility rules for teleworking employees under the FMLA.
Here’s another installment in our occasional series on the I-can’t-believe-they-did-that actions of employees. Now, I know that there’s a more common term for these types of pictures of a guy’s personal junk, but one of my law partners (let’s call her “Lulu,” shall we?) insisted that I not use it. Even with asterisks. So … let’s see what lessons we can draw from this situation, shall we? Beyond the obvious, of course.
Continue Reading Extraordinary Employee Misconduct: No Pics of Your Privates at Work!
So said a federal court in tossing an employee’s rather cheeky claims of interference with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as retaliation for taking FMLA leave, when she was fired after taking a trip to Thailand – for which she had previously requested time off and was denied – while on FMLA leave.
Continue Reading “Taking a Trip Is Not Protected Activity Under the FMLA”
OK, I’m a bit of a nerd about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and its regulations. And I would expect the Department of Labor to be the same. After all, they wrote the regulations! But I feel like they might have missed the boat a bit with their recent revisions to the Final Rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
Continue Reading Does the DOL Really Know Its Own FMLA Regulations?
On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional Q&A resources to provide guidance to employers on COVID-19-related issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). While much of the guidance reiterates general principles under each of these laws, they offer some interesting insights on a few issues specific to COVID-19.Continue Reading DOL Provides COVID-19-Related Guidance on FLSA, FMLA and FFCRA
This installment in our occasional series of extremely poor judgment by employees illustrates the point that social media has led to the downfall of many an FMLA abuser.
Continue Reading Extraordinary Employee Misconduct: FMLA Does Not Cover Travel to and from an NFL Game
Most human resources folks know that, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, eligible employees can take leave to care for a child with a serious health condition, and that the FMLA defines “child” as being under the age of 18. But what some perhaps don’t realize is the FMLA has an additional definition of “child”: one over 18 years who is “incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.” And even if they’re aware of that definition, they may not understand that the disability can be quite temporary in nature. A recent case, Gibson v. New York State Office of Mental Health, clearly makes this point.
Continue Reading FMLA to Care for Adult Child?
I often tell my crazy teenagers that it doesn’t matter what you mean to say – it matters what the other person actually hears. (I’m not sure they actually hear me when I say that…) And a recent Family and Medical Leave Act case proves my point and provides a lesson for employers. Curlee v. Lewis Bros. Bakeries Inc. of Tennessee highlights the need for employers to be very careful and very clear in their verbal communications with employees about Family and Medical Leave Act obligations.
Continue Reading Be VERY CLEAR In Your Communications About FMLA!
An employee requested that she be permitted to leave work early every day due to her anxiety triggered by driving home in heavy traffic (those of us in major metropolitan areas would never survive!). When her demand was rejected and she ended up being terminated, Heather Trautman brought suit against her employer, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and related state laws, Trautman v. Time Warner Cable Texas, LLC.
Continue Reading Leaving Work Early Due to Fear of Rush-Hour Traffic Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation