Employees must notify employers of their need to take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when such leave is foreseeable, but who exactly should they tell? Their supervisor? HR? A third-party administrator (TPA)? Multiple people? The answer may depend partly on when the leave is requested (e.g., initial notice versus subsequent…

Read More

The U.S. Department of Labor/Wage and Hour Division has continued its practice of issuing opinion letters. It recently issued an opinion letter that addresses the question of whether an employee may take FMLA leave to attend a Committee on Special Education (“CSE”) meeting to discuss a child’s Individualized Education Program (“IEP”). See DOL Opinion Letter…

Read More

Parents can take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time off to attend special education meetings—called individualized education program (IEP) meetings—for children with serious health conditions, according to an Aug. 8 U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letter. FMLA leave likely will increase as parents learn that time off for this purpose is an option.…

Read More

A short period of time between leave taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and a subsequent disciplinary action does not prove the two are related, according to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiff worked as a surgical assistant for St. Luke’s Episcopal-Presbyterian Hospitals from 1995 until her termination in…

Read More

Take care of yourself! In medicine, sometimes the practices that get people in trouble are pretty simple. Too many nachos, and not enough leafy greens. You’d rather binge-watch Seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things than go for a walk. You hate needles, so you haven’t been to the doctor in 20 years. The same principle often applies…

Read More

A bakery that fired an employee who left work early to see doctors concerning his prostate cancer, for which he sought Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, has viable claims even though his doctor did not timely certify the absences for FMLA leave, a federal district court ruled. The plaintiff worked for Lewis Brothers,…

Read More

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently upheld a trial court decision in favor of JetBlue concerning the termination of a disabled employee due to her excessive absenteeism. Miceli v. JetBlue Airways Corp., No. 18-1345 (January 28, 2019). Many employers are apprehensive about terminating the employment of disabled employees, even when…

Read More

Executive Summary: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) notices and certification forms on September 4, 2018. The new forms are valid until August 31, 2021, and are available for download from the DOL Website. Notably, the DOL did not make any material changes to the prior forms;…

Read More

Employees eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) might want to decline FMLA leave for a variety of reasons, but employers often can designate the time off as FMLA anyway. Note though that in jurisdictions covered by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the employer must allow the employee to decline…

Read More