On April 10th, the Department of Labor released its fiscal year 2014 budget request. As reported in a press release describing the budget request, the DOL has asked for $12.1 billion in discretionary funding to support “President Obama's plan to strengthen the economy and grow the middle class through continued investments in training and resources for job seekers.” The request seeks significant resources devoted to putting veterans to work, and to creating employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed and low-income adults and youths.
February 6, 2013 was the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act. In celebration, the United States Department of Labor released the results of a survey on the law’s use and impact. According to the DOL, the survey shows that the “FMLA continues to make a positive impact on the lives of workers without imposing an undue burden upon employers,” and that both employers and employees find it “relatively easy to comply with the law.” The survey also concludes that “misuse of the FMLA is rare.”
In addition to publishing the survey, the DOL issued a final rule implementing the law's protections to families of veterans and airline flight crews and making other clarifying changes. Finally, the DOL published new forms for employers to use when seeking certification of serious health conditions or when designating eligibility, among other things. As before, use of the forms is optional.
In a case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held that the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA” or the “Act”) protected a pregnant worker who was fired after she requested leave, despite the fact that she was not eligible for FMLA leave when she made the request, because she would have been eligible at the time the leave was to have been taken. The case, Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Facilities, Inc., is an important case for employers to heed.
Second Circuit Analyzes Scope of Material Adverse Employment Actions in a Family Medical Leave Act Retaliation Claim
Written by Michael Arnold
Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Millea v. Metro-North R.R. Co., --- F.3d ----, 2011 WL 3437513 (2d Cir. Aug. 8, 2011), found that a “material adverse employment action” in the context of a Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) retaliation claim need not be all that “material” .
The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons and prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee exercising their FMLA rights. In Millea, the plaintiff claimed his employer retaliated against him by, among other things, issuing a formal reprimand after he took medical leave to recover from a panic attack.