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Requiring an Employee to Return from FMLA Leave "Without Restrictions" or "Fully Healed" Is Playing with Fire

Do you know what happens when you maintain a policy or practice that requires an employee to return to work without restrictions or “100% healed”? You pay. A lot.

A Cruise Aboard the Love Boat is Not Protected by the FMLA, Even When the Doc Says It's a Good Idea

This post has nothing to do with Netflix and its new, generous parental leave policy. Or GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s latest position on paid leave. Sorry to disappoint.

DOL and EEOC Explain How They Will Approach FMLA and Reasonable Accommodation Enforcement

This week, I had the pleasure of presenting with Department of Labor and EEOC officials on key developments out of Washington with respect to leave management and accommodations. Our presentation was part of the annual conference of the Disability Management Employer Coalition. If you’re an employer and not a member of DMEC, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Find out more about the organization here.

Need To Investigate Employee Misconduct While the Employee is on FMLA Leave? Follow This Employer's Lead

Even once in awhile an employer has handled an FMLA situation so effectively, you just want to shout out, “You Go Girl!” . . . or let out a fist pump (like you just sank a 70-foot birdie) . . . or initiate a wild chest bump in the hallway with a colleague (after you just landed that new client).

Requesting FMLA leave does not give an employee greater protection against firing for reasons unrelated to FMLA.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that a customer service representative who was fired for performance issues during the same period of time in which she requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for her child could not support her FMLA discrimination claim. Burciaga v. Ravago Americas, LLC, 8th Circ., No. 14-3020, July 2, 2015. The court’s dismissal of the claim was based on the fact that the employee was unable to show that the reason set forth by the company for her discharge — multiple shipping errors within a 17 day period – was a pretext for discriminatory treatment based on her request for leave.

FMLA Compliance Tips to Steer Clear of Trouble

The Family and Medical Leave Act continues to bedevil many employers. On this podcast, Ogletree Deakins employment attorney Steven Luckner discusses common FMLA pitfalls and how to avoid them.

FMLA FAQ: Must an Employer Provide Intermittent FMLA Leave So An Employee Can Attend to an Autistic Child?

Q: One of our employees, a front desk receptionist, maintains an erratic work schedule because she must attend to her autistic son. In short, her son throws a tantrum at school if his mom does not personally drop him off and pick him up from school. For instance, he hides under a table, refuses to participate, and becomes very aggressive when his mom doesn’t not drop him off and pick him up.

What a difference a day makes under the FMLA

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an eligible employee can take up to 12 weeks of protected leave for his own "serious health condition," which is defined under the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) regulations as a condition "that involves inpatient care . . . or continuing treatment by a health care provider." Although many FMLA cases have focused on the meaning of "continuing treatment," the definition of "inpatient care" has seen little review. A recent decision by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Delaware employers) focused on the issue.

Now That Same-Sex Marriage is a Constitutional Right, How Do Employers Administer FMLA Leave?

On Friday, June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Paid Leave Expansion Funds Offered by DOL

In support of the Obama Administration's commitment to expand American workers' access to paid leave, the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced this week that it is offering $1.25 million in grants to help state and local policymakers study the feasibility of developing paid leave programs on a national scale. So far, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia and several cities have passed laws allowing paid family and medical leave or earned sick days. While this may indicate an emerging trend, the US still lags far behind most other industrialized nations.