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Total Articles: 22

Can an Employee take FMLA Leave to Care For a Sibling? Before You Say "No," Read This

I love my brother dearly. I love my sister just as much.

Butt Implants, Male Breast Reductions Among Top Plastic Surgery Trends. But Are These Procedures Protected by FMLA?

Apparently, Kim Kardashian isn’t the only one whose derrière seems to have transformed over the years.

Does FMLA Cover In Vitro Fertilization? Does It Matter if Dad's Sperm is to Blame?

Is that all it takes to get you to click on my blog entry — make a reference to “sperm” in the blog title and post a silly photo of this little guy? That was like taking candy from a baby!

eLABORate: New Revisions to the Family Medical Leave Act Expand Coverage

On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor finalized a rule which extends the Family Medical Leave Act’s (“FMLA”) protections to married same-sex couples. The rule, originally proposed in June 2014, implements necessary policy changes resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark United States v. Windsor decision which overturned the section of the Defense of Marriage Act barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

DOL Final Rule Amends FMLA Definition of "Spouse"

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that eligible employees of covered employers are entitled take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. On February 25, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued a Final Rule revising the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to allow eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages to take FMLA-protected leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live. The DOL asserts that the amendment will afford spouses in same-sex marriages the same ability as all spouses to fully exercise their FMLA rights.

Employer Fails to Provide Leave of Absence to Probationary Employee, Pays the Price

Adam was a maintenance technician for EZEFLOW, a company which manufactures pipe fittings. He also was a marine corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

DOL’s Proposed Rule Redefines FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse” to Recognize “Place of Celebration”

On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a press release announcing a proposed rule extending the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of where they live. The DOL is proposing this rule in light of the June 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, in which the Supreme Court of the United States struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of “marriage” to opposite-sex unions and “spouse” to individuals of the opposite sex who are married for purposes of over 1,100 federal laws and regulations. The Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor left intact section 2 of DOMA, which expressly permits states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Depressed employee's vacation leave request did not qualify for FMLA protection.

The vacation request of an employee suffering from depression and anxiety did not qualify as a request for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), said the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. While the request might prove medically beneficial, it did not qualify for FMLA protection, as it did not include any period of actual incapacity. Hurley v. Kent of Naples, Inc., 11th Cir., No. 13-10298, March 20, 2014.

Employees Can't Take FMLA Leave for "Potential" Absences in the Future

Did you ever have an employee tell you that he has medical condition "x," which will require time off at some point in the future? Normally, you tactfully tell him to come back when he actually needs time off, correct?

Vegas Trip Considered Legitimate FMLA Leave

Most human resources personnel know that under the Family Medical Leave Act, covered employers must give eligible employees twelve workweeks off in a twelve-month period “to care for” a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. However, what happens when caring for a terminally ill parent, physically and psychologically, brings the employee to Vegas for vacation? Recently, the Seventh Circuit Court held this constitutes “caring for” the family member and is a proper use of the leave.

ASK Fisher & Phillips: FMLA Request

We have an employee who was off for five days taking care of his sick wife. He has been with the dealership for more than a year and worked more than 1,250 hours last year. I sent him the FMLA paperwork. He called me and said that he did not want to use his time off for FMLA, and instead was just going to use unpaid time off. What do I do now?

FMLA Leave for Same-Sex Couples to be Clarified by Supreme Court's DOMA Decision?

This past Friday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would consider whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unlawfully denies benefits to gay and lesbian couples who are married in states that allow such unions. A Supreme Court decision nullifying DOMA could have wide ranging impacts, including how the Family and Medical Leave Act covers "caring for a spouse."

What!?! Time Caring for Mom in Las Vegas is FMLA Leave

The FMLA just got a whole lot broader. In what might be one of the key FMLA decisions of the year, a federal judge has upheld an employee's right to take FMLA leave to care for her mother during a recreational trip to Las Vegas. Yep . . . you read it correctly. Employee + her mother + their trip together to Vegas = FMLA leave

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave to An Employee Who Is Not Yet Eligible to Take Leave?

Q: Can an Employer Deny FMLA Leave to An Employee Who Is Not Yet Eligible to Take Leave?

To invoke FMLA protection for care of another, some geographic proximity is required by the employee.

In an unpublished opinion, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that an individual who requests FMLA leave to care for a seriously ill family member must have some role in providing the “care” required by the relative’s illness. According to the Fifth Circuit, a father who left his seriously injured daughter in the care of his wife while he readied the family’s home for their return was unable to support a claim for FMLA retaliation after he was fired from his job at the conclusion of his FMLA leave.

FMLA FAQ - How do snow days affect FMLA leave?

Like many employers, we were closed yesterday due to the massive blizzard. We have an employee out on FMLA leave. Do I count the snow day against this employee's 12-week leave entitlement?

DOL Clarifies FMLA Definition Of "Son Or Daughter".

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an "Administrator's Interpretation" on the definition of "son or daughter" under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The federal law allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for a number of reasons, including for the adoption or the birth of a child or to care for a son or daughter with a "serious health condition." The interpretation, issued by Nancy Leppink, Deputy Administrator of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division, would broaden the definition of persons who stand in loco parentis so as to include employees in same-sex or other non-traditional relationships (without regard to their legal or biological relationship with the child).

Podcast No. 13: Interpreting The New DOL Interpretation Of "In Loco Parentis"

On June 22 the U.S. Department of Labor issued its first Administrator Interpretation under the FMLA, "clarifying" how the FMLA applies to requests for leave by those who provide care for a child without a biological or legal relationship to the child. In this month's podcast, we explain what's new in this interpretation, what isn't, and what it means for employers.

DOL Permits FMLA Leave for Gay Parents and Others Caring For a Child.

On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Administrator Interpretation (.pdf) to clarify the definition of a “son or daughter” under the FMLA to ensure that an employee who seeks time off work to care for a child receives FMLA leave regardless of the employee’s legal or biological relationship with the child. Although the DOL interpretation arguably does not change existing law, many consider it a huge win for nontraditional families, including families in the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community who, the DOL asserts, “often in the past have been denied leave to care for their loved ones.”

FMLA rights regarding childcare may apply without specific legal or biological relationship.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) establishes protected leave for specific circumstances, including the birth or placement of a son or daughter, care of a newborn or newly placed son or daughter, and care for a son or daughter with a serious health condition. On June 22, 2010, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor issued Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2010-3 in response to requests for guidance regarding whether employees who do not have a biological or legal relationship with a child may take FMLA leave for birth, bonding, and to care for the child.

DOL Expands Leave Rights Under FMLA.

On June 22, 2010 the Department of Labor issued an Administrative Interpretation clarifying the definition of "son or daughter" under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with respect to non-military leave. The new Interpretation grants leave rights to individuals who assume the responsibilities of a parent by providing day-to-day care or financial support for a child, regardless of whether there is a legal or biological relationship between the individual and the child.

DOL Permits FMLA Leave for Gay Parents and Others Caring For a Child.

On June 22, 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Administrator Interpretation to clarify the definition of a “son or daughter” under the FMLA to ensure that an employee who seeks time off work to care for a child receives FMLA leave regardless of the employee’s legal or biological relationship with the child. While the DOL interpretation arguably does not change existing law, many consider it a huge win for nontraditional families, including families in the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community who, the DOL asserts, “often in the past have been denied leave to care for their loved ones.”
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