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EEOC Commissioner Gives Insight into Handling Employee Leaves of Absence After FMLA is Exhausted

Last week, I had the pleasure of co-presenting with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Our presentation was part of an FMLA/ADA compliance conference hosted by the Disability Management Employer Coalition. You can access BNA’s coverage of our presentation here. Naturally, Cmmr. Feldblum and I aren’t going to agree on everything when it comes to the ADA, since I represent employers and Cmmr. Feldblum is a sitting EEOC Commissioner. But when it comes to employer compliance with the ADA, we found much to agree on during this session.

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.

"Potential" Qualification for FMLA Leave Doesn't Cut It, Appeals Court Says

A recent court decision limits the pool of employees who may assert claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In Hurley v. Kent of Naples, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that the "potent protection" of the FMLA does not apply to everybody who potentially qualifies for FMLA leave but only to those who actually qualify for FMLA leave.

Employer Can Fire Worker Who Refused FMLA Leave for Violating No-Show Policy, Federal Court Rules

An employer did not violate the federal Family and Medical Leave Act for terminating an employee for violating its no-show, no-call policy, where the employee elected not to take protected FMLA leave, even though the reason for the employee’s need for time off would have been covered under the statute, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, has ruled. Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms, Inc., Nos. 11-17608 & 12-15320 (9th Cir. Feb. 25, 2014). Affirming a judgment in favor of the employer on the employee’s claim for interference with her FMLA rights and rights under California law, the Court also ruled the district court did not err in admitting evidence about the plaintiff’s prior FMLA leave.

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.

FMLA FAQ: Can an Employer Designate FMLA Leave When an Employee Refuses to Provide Medical Certification?

I received a ton of feedback last week in response to my post about whether an employee can decline FMLA leave even though the absence qualifies under the Act.

Can an Employee Decline FMLA Leave Even though the Absence is Covered by the Act?

What do you do when one of your employees has informed you of what clearly is an FMLA-triggering event (she needs to care for her dad who is seriously ill in the hospital), but then tells you she doesn't want the absence designated as FMLA leave?

Family and Medical Leave, Doctor's Notes, and Employee Preferences

It has been a long time since we talked about the Family and Medical Leave Act, but a couple of interesting and noteworthy decisions came out this week from Way Out West.

The Lesson of EEOC v. UPS and Automatic Termination Provisions: Engage in the ADA Interactive Process

Let me share a story about UPS, although in the end, this story has nothing to do with UPS.