Eighth Circuit Splits The Baby In Permitting FMLA Claims To Proceed

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/15/2015
Jessica Brown was fired five days after she complained about what she considered a demotion due to her use of pregnancy leave. She then sued her employer, alleging among other things a violation of both the discrimination/retaliation and interference/entitlement prongs of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The district court granted summary judgment to her employer and she appealed.  Reviewing that judgment, the Eighth Circuit reversed the...
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Fourth Circuit Denies School Principal's FMLA Retaliation Claim

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
06/18/2015
On June 15, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a lower court's decision dismissing FMLA  interference and retaliation claims brought by an assistant school principal in Maryland.  Adams v. Anne Arundel County Public Schools, No. 14-1608 (4th Cir. 6/15/15). In affirming a grant of summary judgment to the school system, the Fourth Circuit relied upon the fact that the principal was granted three medical leaves of...
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Stage One Kidney Disease Not FMLA “Serious Health Condition”

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
04/10/2015
The Eighth Circuit has held that stage one kidney disease is not a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Dalton v. ManorCare of West Des Moines IA, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5536 (8th Cir. Apr. 7, 2015). Lucinda Dalton worked for a skilled nursing facility in Iowa when she was diagnosed with stage one kidney disease. She had significant weight gain and an edema. Following a series of doctor visits in January 2011,...
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Department of Labor Issues Revision To Definition of Spouse Under FMLA

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/05/2015
On February 25, 2015, the Department of Labor issued a Final Rule changing the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  The Final Rule impacts those individuals who entered into legal same-sex marriages in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but now reside in a state that does not.  The prior iteration of the Rule defined “spouse” (29 CFR §§ 825.102 and 825.122(b)) based on the residency of the eligible...
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Check Your FMLA Policy

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/30/2015
Employers must be careful about treating employees as if the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies if, in fact, it does not apply. On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that Terry Tilley, an employee of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission (the “Commission”), could proceed with his FMLA claims even though he did not meet the FMLA’s definition of an “eligible employee.”  Tilley v. Kalamazoo Cnty....
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College Employee’s ADA and Retaliation Claims Get Past Summary Judgment

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/29/2014
Lest any employer need reminding that workplace disability issues (and the ADA/FMLA interplay) are nearly always tricky, a recent decision by Judge Russell proves the point well. In Williams v. Balt. City Cmty. College, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133144 (D. Md. Sept. 23, 2014), the court denied the College’s motion for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s “regarded as” disabled and retaliation claims, while granting the motion on plaintiff’s...
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Regional Air Carriers are “Joint Employers” Under FMLA

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/25/2014
The Seventh Circuit has held that two air carriers that supplied regional air service for United Airlines are joint employers for purposes of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Cuff v. Trans States Holdings, Inc., 2014 U.S.App. LEXIS 18901 (7th Cir. September 19, 2014). In so doing, the court held that an employee who was on the Trans States payroll was covered by the FMLA. United contracts with firms for regional air service as “United...
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Failure to Follow FMLA Rule Costs FedEx Big Time

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
08/27/2014
The DOL’s FMLA Regulations are pretty clear on when you can take action against an employee for failing to provide medical certification. Section 825.305(d) provides that: “At the time the employer requests certification, the employer must also advise an employee of the anticipated consequences of an employee’s failure to provide adequate certification.” 29 C.F.R. § 825.305(d). FedEx recently learned the hard – and expensive – way from...
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The FMLA and the “Personal Staff” Exemption

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
07/22/2014
The Eighth Circuit has held that a public employee could not proceed with her claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because she was on the personal staff of an elected official. Hemminghaus v. Missouri, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12376 (8th Cir. July 1, 2014).   This decision follows a recent unpublished Sixth Circuit decision in Horen v. Cook, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20737 (6th Cir. Oct. 10. 2013) and a 2005 decision from the Fifth Circuit in...
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DOL Takes Action So That FMLA Applies To Same-Sex Spouses Everywhere

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/24/2014
The Department of Labor announced on June 20, 2014, that it would be issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) confirming that employees are eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regardless of their state of residence.  Secretary Tom Perez announced that the proposed revisions would ensure that the FMLA applied to all families equally, permitting same sex marriage partners to fully...
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