Category: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

For Any Lawful Reason:  Firing an at-will employee under dubious circumstances need not lead to liability if the reason for the firing was not illegal

For Any Lawful Reason: Firing an at-will employee under dubious circumstances need not lead to liability if the reason for the firing was not illegal

A recent decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the distinction between firing an employee for personal or politically expedient reasons (which may be entirely legal) and firing an employee because of his or her protected status or for exercising protected rights (which is typically illegal). The decisive question answered in this case was can an employer terminate...

Quirky Question #288:  Zika in the Workplace?

Quirky Question #288: Zika in the Workplace?

Question: We have been flooded with coverage of Zika, from the Rio Olympics to the recent travel restrictions in Miami As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect my employees, but I am also concerned about overreacting. I understand there are many reported cases of Zika, but only six cases where the individual actually became infected with...

Quirky Question #266: What’s up with Pregnancy Discrimination?

Question: Over the summer, we heard a lot about new guidance on pregnancy discrimination. What do we need to know to ensure we are complying with local, state, and federal laws on pregnancy discrimination?

Quirky Question #261, When will our employee return?

Question: We’re a large company with offices in many locations, including in California, Minnesota, Washington and New York City.  We often have disabled employees provide doctors’ notes that say they are unable to work, but that do not provide an expected date the employee will be cleared medically to return.  When we ask these individuals for a return date, they...

Quirky Question #259, The FMLA and the ADA: Joined at the Hip

Question: I work in my company’s HR department and we just had an employee ask for additional time off, even though we’ve already given the employee a bunch of time off we are required to under the FMLA.  I wanted to say no but my co-worker here in HR says I have to grant the extra time off.  Who is right?

Quirky Question #244, An Update on Ebola

Quirky Question #244, An Update on Ebola

In Quirky Question #244, we discussed what employers should do to protect their employees and businesses in light of the potential Ebola threat.  Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered nearly 700 Minnesota National Guard members to deploy to Liberia this spring to help fight the Ebola epidemic. The citizen-soldiers are scheduled to start training in March with an estimated six-month...

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Question: The recent media coverage of Ebola has been overwhelming.  As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect our employees and our business, but I also don’t want to overreact to what is seemingly a very small threat.  What steps can, and should, I take to protect my employees?  Does Ebola potentially implicate any state or...

Quirky Question #236, “I need some time off to give my daughter a mental boost…”

Quirky Question #236, “I need some time off to give my daughter a mental boost…”

­­­Question: We employ a very elderly lady, Agnes. In fact, she’s a great-grandmother. She has asked to take some time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act. See tells us that her daughter Beatrice is out of the picture, but that Agnes raised Beatrice’s daughter, Catherine, who now herself has a two-year-old daughter Dorothy. Catherine is having foot surgery...

Quirky Question #217, Bereavement Leave in Colorado and Oregon

Quirky Question #217, Bereavement Leave in Colorado and Oregon

Question: An employee in our Corporate Office recently informed Human Resources that she was requesting bereavement leave with respect to her sister’s death last month.  When she was informed of our company policy, that up to 3 days of paid time off may be taken to attend the funeral, she said her attorney friend told her a new law requires...

Quirky Question # 193: Pregnancy Complications and the FMLA, PDA and ADA

Quirky Question # 193: Pregnancy Complications and the FMLA, PDA and ADA

Question: An employee experienced complications with her pregnancy toward the end of her second trimester.  As a result of these complications, her physician placed her on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  If she carries the baby to term, this employee will exhaust her Family and Medical Leave Act leave by the time of the birth.  Are we...