Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Has Illinois Taken Leave Of Its Senses?

By David G. Lubben, Esq.

Leave program managers have a tough job. The federal FMLA is complex and has hundreds of pages of detailed regulations. New state laws from Illinois will make the leave administrator’s job even tougher in this State.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

I Denied My Employee FMLA Leave and Now I'm a Defendant?

by Kathryn Morris Willis, Esq.

Human resources professionals and company managers regularly deal with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave paperwork, medical certifications, and returning employees to work at the end of leave. After all, it's is all part of the job. However, recent case law calls into question whether, in granting or denying FMLA leave, the manager may be subjecting herself or himself to potential individual liability.

In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, 216 WL 1055742, (2nd Cir. Mar. 17, 2016), the Second Circuit joined several other circuits in finding that a human resources professional could possibly be individually liable for FMLA violations under the "economic realities" test.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Employee Absences Do Not Make the Heart Grow Fonder

by Emily Coody Marks, Esq.

Employee absenteeism is inevitable, so is excessive absenteeism. Dealing with this issue is particularly difficult for employers because it gives rise to many different considerations: application of employer policies, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) etc.

"But this is an at-will state", employers say; "I can fire an employee for any reason!" Not so.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Employers: Gear Up for Changes in Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses After Supreme Court Ruling

by Adair M. Buckner, Esq.

The United States Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling Friday, June 26, 2015, in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Read the Court's full opinion here.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to bar same-sex couples from marriage. This ruling, coupled with the U. S. Supreme Court ruling in 2013 in United States v. Windsor, that the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which denied recognition of marital status to couples of the same sex under federal law was unconstitutional, will mean broad changes in employment-related treatment of same-sex spouses.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

How to Treat Pregnancy-Related Disabilities

by Kathryn Morris Willis, Esq.

A pregnant employee walks into your office, says she has a lifting restriction of five pounds, and can't do her job. You reason, "Pregnancy isn't a disability. I don't have to treat it that way." Right?

Not so fast.

In July 2014, the EEOC issued a new Guidance (Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues) regarding pregnancy and pregnancy-related disabilities, presumably in response to a growing number of pregnant women in the workplace.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guideline Regarding Pregnancy Discrimination

by Grissel Seijo, Esq.

On July 14, 2014, the EEOC issued an updated Enforcement Guideline ("Guideline") on Pregnancy Discrimination. This is the first significant update since 1983.

The Guideline emphasizes the overlaps of law that protect pregnant and recently pregnant women. Specifically, the Guideline discusses the protections afforded pregnant employees by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 ("Title VII"), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA"), the American With Disabilities Act, as amended ("ADA") and Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA").

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Monday, August 4, 2014

A New Wave of Employment Laws Require Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

by Natalie Koss, Esq.

Claims for pregnancy discrimination have been on the uptick for the last several years. Further adding to employer concerns are a new and varied number of laws protecting pregnant workers. States and localities are adopting new laws that protect pregnant workers from discrimination that fill the void left by federal laws governing disability and pregnancy discrimination.

Maryland, New Jersey, and Illinois are just a sample of the new jurisdictions enacting new laws requiring employers to find ways to accommodate pregnant workers. While many states are enacting pregnancy accommodation laws for the first time, California and Hawaii have had pregnancy accommodation laws on their books for many years.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Top 6 Employment Law Challenges for 2014

by Alan M. Kaplan, Esq.

Are companies ready for 2014? Last year, we saw several significant changes and reminders to lessen the risks of suit. Here is our list of the top six challenges human resource professionals should address.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

What Employers Need to Know About Recent Same-Sex Marriage Interpretations

by Sabrina Presnell Rockoff, Esq.

Any blog post that deals with both Internal Revenue Service and Department Of Labor rulings is bound to be, well, as one of my faithful readers would say, "On the dry side." But, not only does this post give North Carolina employers a lot of recent and important information, it uses the gem of a term "state of celebration"—what a great concept to appear in an IRS ruling, of all things! I'll come back to that thought by the end of the post…

A few months ago, I opined on how this year's Supreme Court rulings may affect employers.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

When the FMLA and ADA Intersect: Double Trouble for Employers

by James D. Holman, Esq.

Most employers agree that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the most annoying of the federal employment acts: inconvenient, difficult to administer, with substantial penalties if you get it wrong.

An eligible employee is entitled to twelve weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve-month period in order to care for the employees' serious medical condition or that of a spouse, parent or child. At the end of the leave the employee gets his or her job back. Complying with the FMLA is at best inconvenient, at worst a substantial hardship, particularly if the employer loses a key employee for twelve weeks.

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