One of the biggest changes, according to the SHRM or Society of Human Resource Management, is that the husband of a pregnant woman is entitled to FMLA leave for prenatal visits under some circumstances. The FMLA has always permitted men to take “paternity” leave to bond with a newborn or newly adopted infant, or a newly place foster child under the age of 18. And the FMLA regulations always covered a pregnant woman’s prenatal appointments.
However, the new 2009 FMLA regulations specifically permit the husband of a pregnant woman to take time off to provide her with physical or psychological care for prenatal visits. The language of the new regulations, however, apparently restricts this leave to the spouse of a woman who has severe morning sickness or other complications. (more…)
One new 2009 FMLA regulation clarifies the issue of overtime under FMLA. Under the new regulation, when overtime is mandatory, an employee can use their FMLA leave to work only 40 hours per week, provided the FMLA has been approved and all the required paperwork is in place.
However, when overtime is voluntary, if the employee declines, the time does not count as FMLA leave under the 2009 U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
Suppose Susan works in a retail clothing store. She is pregnant, and has been approved for intermittent FMLA leave. During most of the year, overtime is voluntary in the store. In October, Susan’s boss requests that she work 7 hours of overtime during the week. Susan declines. Since the overtime is voluntary, the 7 hours are not counted towards Susan’s total 12 weeks of FMLA leave.
However, in November and December, overtime is mandatory at the store where Susan works, due to the busy holiday shopping season. All employees are expected to (more…)
Employers have already been warned that the state minimum wage will increase with the new year in Oregon, Washington, Florida, New Mexico, Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, Montana, Ohio and Connecticut.
However, employers in other states also have to contend with minimum wage increases this year.
Even if an employer has no minimum wage employees, each increase means the employer must update his or her minimum wage posters. By law, employers are required to display a variety of labor law posters prominently in the workplace. Failure to do so can result in fines, penalties and citations.
An important provision of the new FMLA regulations permits employees to substitute paid leave for unpaid FMLA. This is a major departure from the previous regulations, which permitted an employer to prohibit the use of paid vacation by employees on FMLA.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, an employee can substitute paid leave benefits for unpaid FMLA, as long as the employee follows the employer’s terms and conditions regarding those benefits. (However, the terms and conditions should be previous established, preferably in writing, and must be non-discriminatory.) The employer has a responsibility to inform employees of the terms and conditions of the paid leave policy or policies.
For example, a company may have a policy that paid vacation must be requested in writing at least 4 weeks in advance. When Jennifer goes into labor on January 15, she can immediately take FMLA. However, she will need to comply with the (more…)
In 2008, the president signed into law a new measure, which guarantees FMLA leave for military families in a variety of circumstances. As we have already reported, the new law permits a wounded soldier’s next of kin to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA.
Every employer must post a Military Family Leave notice under this law, even if they have no employees who qualify for the leave.
The law permits members of a military family to take FMLA leave for a variety of situations when a family member is on active duty. This also applies when a member of the National Guard or military Reserve is called to active duty. When this occurs, family members may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected FMLA for any one of a number of “qualifying exigencies.”