Category Archives: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

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 the virus by a mosquito bite in the United States. I want my company to take prudent measures, but also not to panic and cause my employees to unnecessarily fear for their wellbeing. What can (and should) I do to protect my employees? Also, are there any state or federal employment law obligations implicated by a potential Zika outbreak that I should be aware of? Answer→

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?

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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 usually say they don’t know or that their doctor told them they need to be off work for “as long as necessary.”  We have no idea whether this means one week or one year.  Do we have to grant employees leave if there is no end in sight?  It makes planning on our end very difficult.

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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?

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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 deployment to Liberia starting in April. Answer→

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 federal employment law obligations that I should be aware of? Answer→

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 and won’t be fully ambulatory for a few weeks, so Agnes wants to take time off to help care for Dorothy. She says Catherine can take care of herself, but chasing after a toddler will be too much for her. Agnes says this will really take a load off Catherine’s mind. I’m not so sure this fits under the FMLA. What do you think? Answer→