Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals holding that a multi-month leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The plaintiff in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. had asked the Supreme Court to decide whether there is a per se rule that a finite leave of absence of more than one month cannot be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Without the Supreme Court stepping in to resolve the split among the federal circuit courts, employers are left without clear guidance as to how to navigate the interplay between the ADA and extended leaves of absence.
Join us in a discussion on the increasingly complex landscape of employee misclassification as we explore best practices to help your company avoid the costly pitfalls and time consuming litigation that can result from this expensive mistake.
With the 9th Circuit’s late summer anti-class action waiver decision, the circuit split widened over the issue of whether employers can require employees, through an arbitration agreement, to waive their rights to bring class or collective actions against their employer. This issue will almost certainly reach the Supreme Court given the deepening divide and the Court’s previous apparent interest in addressing issues surrounding class action waivers and arbitration agreements.
Ah, the tell-tale signs of March are here. The winter is starting to dissipate in the northern climes, we’ve set the clocks forward, and Syracuse is bound for another Final Four run. Unfortunately, most teams won’t be so lucky and many coaches will soon find themselves on a beach. And why not? After a long, hard-fought season that fell just a bit short, might as well take a warm-weather vacation – go for a quick swim, maybe hit the amusement park, and take a few pictures of all the fun in the sun and post them to Facebook. Sounds like a marvelous idea for many NCAA coaches, but not so much for employees out on FMLA leave. The plaintiff in Jones v. Gulf Coast Health Care of Delaware, a recent case out of a Florida federal court, learned this the hard way.
Early last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a former employee’s hospital stay did not count as an “overnight stay” under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and thus did not trigger the FMLA’s protections, because the employee was not admitted to the hospital and discharged on two separate calendar days. The decision provides helpful guidance for employers and employees alike regarding what, exactly, constitutes an “overnight stay” under the FMLA. The case is Jeffrey Bonkowski v. Oberg Industries Inc., Case No. 14-1239 (3rd.Cir. May 22, 2015).
The Sixth Circuit recently held that a Michigan county agency was barred from arguing that its employee was ineligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), because the employee relied on an inaccurate description of FMLA eligibility requirements contained in the agency’s personnel manual when he commenced the absence that led to his termination.
Written by Michael Arnold
$113.6 million and counting – that’s the total amount donated to the ALS Association since July 29 as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Just to put that fundraising number into perspective, the Association raised around $3 million in the same period last year – a staggering 3,500%+ increase.
Law360 recently quoted me in an article about the rise of FMLA lawsuits. You can read the article here.
My colleague Drew Matzkin is quoted in this Society for Human Resource Management piece in which he comments on the importance of employers keeping an employee’s performance issues separate from the individual’s use of FMLA-leave. The article focuses on the rising rate of FMLA abuse and specific tactics employers can take to contain it.
Written by Brandon Willenberg
I’m not quite sure why California felt it was necessary to effectuate key changes to employment laws in the middle of summer when most of us are trying to break away from work and enjoy our vacations. As we recently discussed here, California’s minimum wage goes up to $9.00/hr starting July 1, 2014, and now California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) law is making the “family” bigger starting July 1, 2014 as it expands the definition of family member to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parent-in-laws.