Freeze! Put your hands up and go review your attendance policy ASAP…

By Beth Ann Lennon The Sixth Circuit reminds all employers to carefully review even “no fault” attendance policies for FMLA compliance. Dyer v. Ventra Sandusky, LLC.  The employer used a collectively bargained, no-fault, attendance policy that required termination when an employee received eleven or more “points” due to absences.  Employees received points whenever they missed […]

DOL says: Don’t Be Too Generous With Your Employees

By Beth Ann Lennon Thursday the Department of Labor (”DOL”) issued three new opinion letters, two of which warrant a quick note. One provided guidance regarding the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and the other addressed the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Both had the same ultimate takeaway – employer generosity easily backfires. Providing more […]

New Paid Family Leave Tax Credit

By Mike Dubetz and Steve Miller The recently-enacted Tax Cut and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) includes a provision that eases the burden for employers who adopt paid family and medical leave policies.  The Tax Act added a new federal tax credit available through 2019 to employers that adopt a paid family and medical leave […]

Stuck in Cape Town Again

By Bill Wright By creatively patching together scheduled days off, vacation days, and personal holidays, and then switching a shift, the plaintiff put together 21 days off. Unfortunately, he was still scheduled for one shift right in the middle of the time off.  He and his wife flew to Cape Town, and when his work shift […]

Parental Leave Precautions

By Bryan Stillwagon Last week, Coca-Cola announced that many new parents at the company (domestic non-bargaining employees) will soon be eligible for six weeks of paid leave. The benefits, which supplement existing short-term disability benefits for birth mothers, will be available to mothers and fathers, adoptive and foster parents, and same-sex couples. The announcement comes […]

Supremes Tell States Gay Marriage is Legal

By John Alan Doran This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws the prohibit gay marriage in Obergfell v. Hodges, No. 14-556 (June 26, 2015), First, the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. Second, the Court held that the […]

Alcoholism Still “Current” After 1 Week

By Bryan Stillwagon A commercial truck driver’s week-old release from alcoholism treatment meant he had a “current” diagnosis of alcoholism. Jarvela v. Crete Carrier Corp., No. 13-11601 (11th Cir. Jan. 28, 2015). The employer required its drivers to pass DOT standards, including that they have “no current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.” This driver took FMLA […]


By Bryan Stillwagon From the beginning, the employee had attendance and punctuality problems, and the problems didn’t improve even when the employer adjusted her schedule. After she was diagnosed with MS, the company approved intermittent FMLA leave and accommodated her request to work from home. By the end, she was working from home for all […]

You’re on Leave — Return Receipt Requested

By Bill Wright An employee over-extends her FMLA leave and the employer declines to reinstate her.  The employee exclaims that she never knew she was on FMLA – short term disability, sure, but not FMLA.  The employer looks in the file, finds the letter addressed to the employee explaining her FMLA leave, and finds the […]

FMLA Leave – Follow Up on Expected Return to Work

By Karla Sanchez An employee who returns to work at the end of FMLA leave may be entitled to reinstatement, even if the employer wasn’t expecting her. In Gienapp v. Harbor Crest, No. 14-1053 (7th Cir., June 24, 2014), the employee requested leave to take care of her adult child and completed FMLA paperwork, but […]