Category: Leave Management, Policy, and Compliance

Managing employee leave is one of HR’s most annoying (and thankless) tasks. First of all, there’s the federal FMLA, which is notoriously difficult to manage, and commonly gamed by employees. Stack on top of that state leave laws that usually conflict with the plus various pregnancy and disability laws. And then there’s the plethora of other types of leave like bereavement, jury duty, and military leave, each of which has its own quirks and challenges. This topic explores this in depth.

OPM Extends FMLA Benefits for Military Families

Federal workers can now take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to make child care arrangements and address other issues that can arise when a family member is called to active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. The new regulations, which took effect Oct. 1, will make it easier for federal employees to […]

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Simple Chart System Tracks Multiple FMLA Leaves

In yesterday’s Advisor, expert Linda Southard clarified tracking of multiple stacking leaves. Today, two graphic illustrations of tracking, plus some good news—your critical policies are updated and ready to go. Set up a charting system to track multiple leaves, says Southard, who is the founder of leave management firm Work & Well, and is principal […]

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The Tracking Nightmare of Multiple Stacking Leaves

It’s not unusual to have to deal with five types of leave at a time, says expert Linda Southard, and that’s a tracking nightmare. In today’s Advisor, her tips for tackling the common challenge of leave stacking. What’s Happened in Leave Land? The first challenge is the multiplicity of types of leave entitlements—workers’ compensation, short-term […]

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FMLA’s ‘Needed to Care for’ Standard Requires Proximity

The Family and Medical Leave Act requires that employees taking unpaid time off to care for a relative must stay close to that person during most of that leave, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said in deciding Baham v. McLane Foodservice, Inc. While an employee need not spend every waking moment in the […]

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On second thought, maybe it would be smart to monitor employees on FMLA leave

Employers should not fire workers in response to them taking valid FMLA leave.  But firing can be justified when employees use FMLA leave (1) in a way that violates the employer’s policy manual, (2) to cover up for underperformance, (3) to retaliate against their employers or (4) as carte blanche to miss endless hours of […]

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Employee Suit Evaporates Because No FMLA Rights Denied

The decision in Quinn v. St. Louis Co. illuminates a fine line for employers. While eligible workers must be granted unpaid time off for qualifying serious health conditions under the FMLA, the court showed that interference must have material consequences – such as actual denial of time off – for employees to make a convincing […]

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A Shorter Commute Can Be Very Accommodating under the ADA, 2nd Circuit Says

Perhaps employers have been mistaken in assuming they never have to worry about a worker’s commute when accommodating a sickness or disability. In certain circumstances, an employer may be required to assist with an employee’s commute, the 2nd Circuit says in a recent opinion (Nixon-Tinkelman v. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene). […]

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7th Cir. Rejects FMLA Claim that Supervisor Exacerbated Illness

Alleging that a supervisor exacerbated an employee’s pre-existing health condition is not a valid theory of liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The issue of serious health conditions covered by the FMLA causes human resources professionals some confusion. But as the 7th Circuit’s decision in […]

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Timing of the Essence: Firing for Misusing 20 Minutes of Leave Was Unfair, Appeals Court Says

An employer’s desire to quickly fire an employee can drag it into violating labor laws. Recently, the firing of an employee for misusing 20 minutes of family medical leave led to conclusions that the firing was retaliation for union activity. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided to uphold an NLRB […]

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