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Follow The Company Rule To Request FMLA. No, The Other One.

Another “head-shaker” case from FMLA land. Section 825.303(a) of the DOL’s regulations on requesting FMLA leave provides that when an unforeseen need for FMLA leave arises, “an employee must provide notice to the employer as soon as practicable . . . within the time prescribed by the employer’s usual and customary notice requirements applicable to […]

Maryland General Assembly Approves Organ Donation Leave Legislation

The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation (HB1284/SB0705) that entitles eligible employees to unpaid job-protected leave for organ and bone marrow donation.  While expected to be approved, this legislation is not yet finalized and has not officially passed into law. Under the new legislation, Maryland employers with at least 15 employees would be required to […]

DOL Issues First FMLA Opinion Letter Of 2019

In FMLA2019-1-A, the DOL advised that an employer cannot delay designating qualifying leave as FMLA, even if requested by the employee.  In particular, the DOL was asked if it is permissible to permit employees to exhaust first any non-FMLA leave prior to designating otherwise qualifying leave as FMLA. The DOL explained that an employer may not […]

Proposals Introduced For National Paid Leave Law

Congress is exploring proposals for providing workers with paid parental leave law, which is something President Trump advocated in his most recent State of the Union address. The President’s plan, outlined in his 2020 budget proposal, calls for six weeks of paid leave for new parents to recover from childbirth and bond with a new […]

Just Ask: Failure To Inquire Whether Mental Illness Is a Serious Health Condition Risks FMLA Liability

Properly handling of mental illness under employment laws remains a challenge for employers.  One of the most common misconceptions is that such conditions don’t trigger protected leave.  A recent Fourth Circuit case however reminds us that notice to invoke Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits does not require “any magic words,” and when it […]

DOL’s Six Latest Opinion Letters Offer Useful Guidance To Employers

After going into hibernation during the Obama Administration, opinion letters have reemerged as part of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) efforts to guide employers seeking valuable input about legal compliance and best practices.  As the DOL itself explains, these letters are “official, written opinion[s] by WHD on how a particular law applies in […]

Yes, Really, Honeywell. You Should Not Finally Fire An Employee Who Has Been Chronically Tardy For 12 Years Only After She Files An FMLA Leave Request.

Honeywell International learned the hard way a lesson that comes up regularly with employers:  An employee who has had a long-standing problem with X.  And X can be anything from tardiness, forgetting to clock out, violating dress code, missing regular internal filing deadlines, or some other consistent deficiency, that is frustrating and warrants discipline, yet […]