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Ask the Attorney Archives

What do we do if an employee states a medical condition, but doesn’t ask for accommodation?

Q: “A new exempt employee has been having issues completing tasks, and has stated he forgets because he was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We sent a reasonable accommodation request form to be completed by the employee and his physician (and included a full job description). On the first deadline, the employee called out sick. We waited a few days past the deadline and sent a request renewal extending the due date. The employee responded that he would not be requesting an accommodation at this time. Since the employee disclosed to his supervisor his condition as a reason for not competing work and missing deadlines, what are our obligations at this time? Do we still have an exposure because he made the statement? He has been out frequently.”  – Lorraine, New York

Do grandparents ever qualify for FMLA leave to care for a grandchild?

Q: “An employee has a 30-year-old daughter with mental health issues who lives with her. The daughter recently had a premature baby currently in the NICU. The employee (her grandmother) is asking for FMLA to take care of the baby when it comes home and needs to know if this would qualify under FMLA. The grandmother has not been appointed guardian of the baby.” —Ann, Florida

Must we pay employee for her time in COVID quarantine?

Q: We are a state agency that provides services for the developmentally disabled. (Our employees are considered essential workers). The child of a provider of our services tested positive for COVID. The mother is not vaccinated. Do we have to pay her for her quarantine time without her using her accruals?—Yitty, New York

After worker injury, must we provide a list of potential doctors?

Q: I was looking at our state workers’ compensation laws and they seem to require that our company present a panel of doctors to any employee who alleges a work related injury or illness, regardless if we have determined if the injury is work related. Is this true?

When is COVID considered an ADA-covered disability?

Q:  How does COVID-19 become a covered ADA disability?—Kenneth , New York

What can employees use as proof of vaccination?

Q: “Under the new federal vaccine mandate (if it’s ever enforced), what is considered ‘satisfactory evidence’ of a vaccination record? What if an employee says, ‘Where am I supposed to get that if I don’t have my card anymore?’ Could an applicant produce a sworn statement?” – Anonymous

What’s the story with paying for covid home testing?

Q: “Just to confirm: OSHA is saying that home tests are no longer eligible to use for testing? Who’s supposed to be paying for these tests if they are eligible? The employer?” —Kyrie, Massachusetts

How do workers accrue leave under the City of San Diego Paid Sick Leave Ordinance?

Q:  “Regarding the City of San Diego Paid Sick Leave Ordinance: Our existing policy is that all employees, full-time and part-time, earn two hours per pay period, and we are on a semimonthly pay period. Over a year, the total is 48 hours. To my understanding, in the city of San Diego, employees earn one hour per 30 hours of work, or they earn hours through an up-front method of 40 hours at the beginning of each benefit year. Does our existing policy satisfy the requirements?” —Cecilia, California

Our workers are suddenly moving to other states–how do we adapt?

Q: “We are having quite a few employees inquiring about moving out of state. We have a telecommuting agreement but not an eligibility/procedure policy for assessing an employee and their out-of-state request. Do you have anything like this for reference?” – Adreanna, California

Can we require employees to wear proof of their vaccination status?

Q: “Is an employer well within its rights to request that verified vaccinated employees wear a special covid badge to be allowed to be unmasked on the company’s property? So, no company-provided covid badge = you must wear your mask at all times.” – Anonymous, Illinois