FMLA/Leaves of Absence

On August 9, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez issued an internal memo calling for the implementation of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor.  In that case, the Court held that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which limited the definition of marriage to “a legal union between one man and one woman,” violated due process and equal protection principles embodied in the Fifth Amendment.  The internal memo stated that the Department of Labor (“DOL”) will be removing references to DOMA from its correspondence, and will be working to ensure the availability of spousal leave based on same-sex marriages under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).


Continue Reading

A surgeon recently brought suit against his employer, in Staveley-O’Carroll v. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, alleging that he was fired in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  No. 1:13-cv-01555-YK (M.D. Pa. filed June 18, 2013). Interestingly, the surgeon is not claiming that he was entitled to, requested, or took FMLA leave.  Rather, he claims that he was retaliated against for defending his secretary’s FMLA rights.

Continue Reading

EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS

Vance v. Ball State University: Narrow Definition of Supervisor in Harassment Suits
In Vance, the Supreme Court announced a narrow standard for determining which employees constitute “supervisors” for purposes of establishing vicarious liability under Title VII. In a 5-4 decision, the Court decided that a supervisor is a person authorized to take “tangible

What should an employer do when a pregnant employee has used all of her allotted leave under CFRA (the California Family Rights Act) and PDLL (Pregnancy Disability Leave Law) but is still not yet able to return to work? Following the appellate court’s recent decision in Sanchez v. Swissport, Inc., No. B237761 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2013), the employer may be required to grant even more leave.


Continue Reading

On January 14, 2013, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued guidance further defining the meaning of “son or daughter” within the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  The FMLA provides qualified employees up to 12 weeks of leave within a 12 month period to care for a son or daughter with a serious health condition.  Under certain circumstances, a son or daughter may include an individual over the age of 18, if that individual has a disability.  The DOL now clarifies, that a child over the age of 18 with a disability may qualify as a son or daughter within the FMLA, regardless of the individual’s age when the disability occurred.


Continue Reading

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission recently amended its regulations to the state’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law.  The new regulations provide expanded protections and clarifications with regard to employer obligations related to Pregnancy Disability Leave (“PDL”).  The regulations take effect on December 30, 2012.


Continue Reading

On August 8, 2011, the Second Circuit issued a decision in Millea v. Metro-North Railroad Co., taking an expansive view of the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (“FMLA”) anti-retaliation provision.  Turning to Title VII for guidance, the Court held that the jury should have received an instruction that broadly defined the term “materially adverse action.”


Continue Reading