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Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are covered. When I try to explain the difference in FMLA training sessions for employers, they often look at me like I have two heads.

Did a Court Just Allow an Employee FMLA Leave to Care for Her Grandchild?

Grandparents across America are celebrating this week. And they have Suzan Gienapp to thank.


Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers with 50 or more employees must provide eligible employees with a leave of absence for certain qualifying reasons, including an employee or family member’s serious health condition. Although the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”), the government entity responsible for enforcing the FMLA, has always had the authority to investigate employers for FMLA compliance, the agency recently announced that it intends to increase the frequency of on-site investigations. Employers subject to the FMLA should take steps to avoid the risks associated with such investigations.

Think Like a World Cup Goalie to Avoid the Paralysis of FMLA Abuse

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been swept up in the excitement of the World Cup over the past couple of weeks. However, now that we have entered the Round of 16, one thing leaves me both fascinated and unsettled about the game: how the art of penalty kicks can decide which team advances and which one goes home.

Same-Sex Marriage and the FMLA: What Employers Need to Know

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor officially published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the definition of "spouse" in the Family and Medical Leave Act. The proposed changes would broaden the definition of "spouse" to include most same-sex married couples.

Same-sex marriage and the FMLA: What you need to know

As most of you have heard by now, the U.S. Department of Labor has provided a “sneak preview” of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act. The proposed changes would broaden the definition of “spouse” to include most same-sex married couples.

Family Medical and Leave Act Violation Costs Employer $536,000

An employee who was replaced by an outside consultant while on medical leave and later discharged recently won nearly $103,000 plus 100% liquidated damages, attorney’s fees and prejudgment interest for violations of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). This is a costly reminder that employers must take care when dealing with employees who go on leave.

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.

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

The Department of Labor announced today a proposed rule that would allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status.

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp. She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year later, on November 13, 2009, Ena’s physician restricted the number hours she could work as a result of complications caused by her pregnancy.