Blog Authors

Latest from FMLA Insights

Let me start with a toast. A toast to the Department of Labor, which was thrust into a spotlight it didn’t seek. After Congress hastily cobbled together a bunch of confusing words on paper providing many American workers with a modest amount of paid sick leave and amending the FMLA to do the same, DOL was tasked with making sense of Congress’ ramblings in a matter of days. Almost immediately, DOL started issuing FAQs (FAQs 1, FAQs 2, and FAQs 3) to help employers and employees better understand the expectations of the Families First Coronavirus Response…
Late yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service released detailed FAQs outlining the documentation employers can require to substantiate an employee’s need for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency paid FMLA (FMLA+).  The IRS also detailed the documents that must be maintained to obtain tax credits for EPSL and FMLA+ payments. Employee Request for Paid Leave The process for requesting EPSL or FMLA+ starts – as a leave request always does – with the employee. iiiiiiIn its guidance, the IRS made clear that the employee must first submit a written request for leave that includes: The employee’s name; The date or…
Who wants Part III? Come on, you know you’ve been craving this all weekend. More FAQs.  It’s like winning a cake eating contest, and the prize is . . . more cake. Late Saturday night, the Department of Labor issued a third round of Q&As (FAQs #38-59) aimed at helping employers administer emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid FMLA leave (FMLA+) as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (pdf), which as of April 1, 2020 will provide relief to American workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In this latest round of FAQs, DOL gave…
For the record, I’m not getting much sleep this week, thanks to the Department of Labor. But it’s evident the DOL isn’t getting much sleep either. Late last evening, the DOL issued a second round of Q&As (FAQs #15-37) aimed at helping employers administer emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid FMLA leave (FMLA+) as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf), which provides initial relief to American workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The first Q&A issued on Tuesday, March 24 focused largely on employer coverage and pay calculations. Last night, however, the DOL started getting…
Late yesterday afternoon, the Department of Labor issued an initial question and answer guidance aimed at helping employers administer emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and paid FMLA leave (FMLA+) as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf), which aims to provide initial relief to American workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  (We covered this new law in a webinar yesterday, the recording of which you can access here.) Among the key questions answered in the DOL’s Q&A, the agency set the effective date of the new law, addressed which (and when) employees should be included…
After passage last week of the Emergency paid sick leave and paid FMLA law, employers have been clamoring for guidance on the timing of reimbursement by the federal government for any paid leave they provide their employees after the law goes into effect on April 2, 2020. In fact, many employers have had to make difficult furlough and termination decisions worried about whether they would even have the cash flow to cover any paid leave mandates while waiting months, even a year, before the feds reimburse them. Late Friday, the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor issued an
When:  This Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. central time) Online registration: Click here On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which aims to provide initial relief to American workers of certain covered employers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  This new law requires covered employers to provide emergency paid leave in the form of a new mandatory paid sick leave benefit, and expanded, paid leave under the FMLA. Targeted for an effective date of April 2, 2020, this new law raises just as many questions as…
Yesterday, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf), which aims to provide initial relief to American workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.  This new law requires certain employers to provide emergency paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and emergency paid sick leave. I outline the the key paid FMLA and paid sick leave provisions below: EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT Effective date: Effective April 2, 2020; the law expires on December 31, 2020 Covered Employer: An employer with fewer than 500 employees.  According to the New York Times,…
Just three days ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation providing employees FMLA and paid sick leave in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Before the ink of that legislation dried, however, the House late last night made a number of so-called “corrections” to the original legislation that considerably modifies key aspects of the law before sending the bill onto the U.S. Senate, presumably this morning. As much as I have been knee-deep in this legislation over the past few days, my Littler colleagues Mike LotitoJim Paretti and Sebastian Chilco haven’t slept as they’ve analyzed these changes…
In the wee hours of the morning yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation designed to give American workers a safety net in response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the United States. Labeled the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (pdf) and covering a wide range of relief for Americans, the legislation provides nearly all American workers up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave and two weeks of paid sick leave for certain reasons related to the coronavirus. Keep in mind this is simply the House version of the bill.  The U.S. Senate is expected to take…
I am often asked to share my favorite resource materials and conferences involving the FMLA and ADA. Of course, my recommended resources aside from this very FMLA blog [get your priorities straight, people!]. Three — and really only three — immediately come to mind. Let’s get the conversation started: If You Just Want Key Materials on the FMLA Every February, the American Bar Association’s Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee publishes a comprehensive report of FMLA decisions handed down by the federal courts in the previous year.  Although our little FMLA blog catches a few of the big FMLA cases as…
A few weeks back, I celebrated my one-year anniversary at Littler. You know what that means, right? I’m F-M-L-A eligible, baby! Now that I am eligible to take job-protected leave [picture the heavens opening up and the sun shining down on my face], I’m salivating over all the so-called “reasons” I could use FMLA leave- perhaps a Mexican beach vacation, an overdue trip to spring training with my buddies, maybe even a little derriere augmentation. Goodness, the possibilities quite literally are endless! There are a ton of quirky rules regarding FMLA eligibility, and I cover some of them below so…
Employers are working overtime to determine how to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak, which has quickly turned into an international crisis. Employers rightfully are concerned about the safety of their employees and what they should be doing when one of their employees (or employees’ family members) have traveled through China. Naturally, a number of my clients have asked me about how they should treat employees returning from China, whether they can force recent travelers to stay away from work, and whether this time away from work would be considered FMLA leave. I hit these questions head on below: What…
Jingle Bells is now a faint memory. Three weeks into 2020, we’ve made and already broken our New Year’s resolutions. Is it a new decade, or is it not? Who knows and who cares, right? Whether or not you’ve broken that New Year’s resolution, the turn of the calendar is the perfect opportunity to update your key personnel policies. At the top of your list should be an in-depth review of your FMLA policy. I outline below a road map to audit your current FMLA policy. Here are the ten (or so) problems we commonly find when reviewing employers’ FMLA…
I spend a decent part of my day reviewing FMLA forms, certification and correspondence. Exhilarating, for sure.  When it comes to FMLA notices, do you care hear about one of my big pet peeves?  [You: Not really interested, Jeff, but we have the feeling you’re going to tell us anyway.] It’s an issue that the far majority of employers and third-party administrators seem to violate all day, every day. What Do I See? In FMLA designation notices, or in correspondence approving FMLA leave, employers and TPAs invariably state something to the effect of “This leave is approved through [a specific…
Contrary to popular opinion, the biggest news lately out of the U.S. Department of Labor is not the fact that the agency just this week announced a final rule that would make over one million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay. Oh, no way! Why worry about minimum wage and overtime issues when the big news is forms? FMLA forms, that is. Brand. New. FMLA. Forms. In early August, the DOL published proposed new FMLA notice forms and medical certification forms, and asked the public to offer its feedback on these new forms by October 4, 2019. That…