The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is set to take effect on April 1, 2020.  As we previously reported, the Act requires that employers with fewer than 500 employees provide two new forms of paid leave.  First, covered employers must provide up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work because of certain COVID-19 related reasons.  Second, covered employers must provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave (in addition to the 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave) to eligible employees who are unable to work or telework because they need to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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The Department of Labor released posters that employers with fewer than 500 employees must use to meet the notice posting requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The DOL issued two posters, one for federal employers, available here and one for all other covered employers, available here.  The DOL also provided a questions and answers page regarding the notice posting requirement here.


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The House amended its Coronavirus Response Bill late on March 16, 2020 and sent it on to the Senate.

Paid Sick Leave Changes

 The sick leave provisions of the bill remained largely intact, and would entitle employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees to take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for coronavirus-related reasons, including required quarantining, caring for family members with the illness, or for emergency school closings.  To review our initial summary of the bill, which includes discussion of portions of the bill that were unaffected by the technical amendments, click here.  The amendments include a $511 daily cap for leave benefits for employees with their own personal coronavirus-related medical conditions, and a $200 cap for employees caring for others with such symptoms or for school closings.

Importantly, the sick leave amendments also allow the Secretary of Labor to grant exemptions to employers where the secretary determines that imposition of the paid sick leave requirements would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”  It also allows healthcare and emergency response employers to apply for exemptions from the Secretary of Labor so that the law would not apply to their employees.


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Effective January 1, 2020, organ donors in California are entitled to an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave.  AB 1223 extends the maximum leave time available to employees who participate in an organ donation program.  This law applies to private employers with 15 or more employees. 
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The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently denied a motion to dismiss filed by Bravo! Facility Services, Inc. against a former employee who brought claims under the ADA, District of Columbia Human Rights Act, and the FMLA. Bravo! asserted that the plaintiff should be barred under the doctrine of judicial estoppel from asserting her claims because she initially failed to disclose her employment discrimination claims in her chapter 7 bankruptcy case filed after her employment terminated.
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With more and more employees working off-site or from home, employers must be aware of the impact on courts’ interpretation of the FMLA’s eligibility requirements. In June, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held in Donahoe-Bohne that the FMLA’s 50-employee threshold was met since the office to which a remote or telecommuting employee reported had at least 50 employees, even though the employee worked from home several states away.

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On March 17, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, holding that sufficient evidence existed to find that the Culinary Institute of America’s (“CIA”) human resources director was an “employer” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and could therefore be held individually liable for violations of the FMLA.
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