According to attorney Joan Gale and several other noted experts, the expansion of ADA under ADAAA will enable many more employees to take FMLA for adult children, even when those children are not members of the military or veterans.
An employee can take unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act when an immediate family member has a serious health condition. Originally, the FMLA was crafted so that immediate family members included parents, a spouse, and a son or daughter under the age of 18.
Since 2001, workers in Colorado who have a “debilitiating medical condition” can use marijuana when it is “medically necessary” to treat a condition. It is frequently prescribed to alleviate nausea during chemotherapy, as well as for other conditions.
The 2001 law also took the enormous leap of assuming that possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, or possession of up to three flowering plants, was presumed to be lawful. However, medical marijuana users must register with the state and obtain a medical marijuana card issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health to legally use the controlled substance.
Still, that law does not require the employer to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace. The new laws further clarifiy that requirement, and allow an employer to discipline an employee who is under the influence under certain circumstances.
Effective June 10, 2010, a registered marijuana user cannot:
Perform any task under the influence of medical marijuana that would constitute negligence or professional malpractice
Drive, pilot a plane, or be in actual physical control (including operating or navigating) a motorboat, plane or vehicle while under the influence of medical marijuana
Use medical marijuana in a vehicle, plane or motorboat. (Apparently use in rowboats, canoes and kayaks is acceptable)
Use or possess medical marijuana on school grounds or on a school bus
Currently 14 states have laws that permit limited use of medical marijuana by a patient with a valid prescription for it. Those states include California, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Several of the states have provided almost no guidance for employers on handling an employee whose off-duty consumption of cannabis creates performance or safety problems in the workplace.
Effective October 1, 2010, Connecticut employers must provide up to 12 days of paid or unpaid leave to employees to address a family violence issue.
Seek medical care for physical injuries or disabilities
Seek psychological care of counseling for psychological injuries
Obtain services from an organization on behalf of the victim, including a woman’s shelter or similar non-profit agency
Relocate to a new home
Participate in a criminal or civil court case related to the family violence
The domestic violence leave law applies to employers with three or more employees. State law already allowed victims of certain crimes time off to attend court proceedings and to assist police in an investigation. However, this law provides additional leave to relocate, and seek medical care or counseling.
Slick maneuvers by employers to artificially lower the hourly wage for straight time and thereby avoid overtime are being regularly rejected in court.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that virtually every payment made to an employee during the first 40 hours of work must be figured into the employee’s “regular hourly rate” for overtime. When a worker puts in more than 40 hours in the payroll week, he or she must be paid 1.5 times the “regular hourly rate.”
Recent court rulings show that state and federal agencies are getting tough with employers on wage and hour issues, including misclassifying employees as independent contractors, exempt status and now overtime.
In the most recent case, when United Technisource Inc. or UTI hired Timothy Gagnon, a highly skilled aircraft painter, the prevailing wage for that job was $18.00 per hour. Yet, UTI offered Gagnon just $5.50 per hour, with a $12.50 per hour per diem, up to $500 total. The per diem caps out at exactly 40 hours in the payroll week. UTI further offered Mr. Gagnon $20 per hour for hours in excess of 40 hours per week.
When Gagnon eventually filed a wage complaint for unpaid overtime, the company argued that the law required only $5.50 x 1.5 = $8.25 per hour overtime, and Gagnon was being paid almost three times that amount. A lower court found for the company.
However, the court of appeals disagreed. The judges found that if Mr. Gagnon worked (more…)
Every federal contractor must display a poster informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA. Under a directive recently issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, merely posting the notice electronically is not sufficient. The poster must also be posted in conspicuous locations in the workplace.
Inspectors will check for the NLRA posters as a routine part of the on-site compliance inspection in awarding contracts. Prominently displaying the poster puts the employer in compliance with Executive Order 13496.
An employer who posts employee notices electronically must include the NLRA information. However, the employer must also display posters in the worksite, in addition to the online information.
The NLRA poster informs employees of their legal rights to join a union, form a union or assist a union. In addition, the poster informs employees that they have the right to enter into collective bargaining agreements with the employer. It includes examples of legal and illegal contracts. The poster also includes information on how an employee may contact the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB with complaints and questions. Posters are available at www.laborlawcenter.com.