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Parenting Leave Act changes now in effect

Amendments to Minnesota’s Par­­ent­­ing Leave Act took effect Aug. 1, expanding the definition of “covered family members” from just children. Now the definition includes not only minor children and those attending school (up to age 20), but also the employee’s own spouse, siblings, adult children, parents, grandparents and step-parents.

Bill would provide leave for domestic abuse victims

A bill before the New York Legislature would require employers to provide domestic or sexual abuse victims up to 90 days per year of unpaid leave to deal with the effects of the abuse.

Balance the pluses and minuses of switching to PTO banks

Some employers have retooled the traditional method of setting paid time off in separate categories by folding vacation, personal or sick leave entitlements into one “bank.”  So-called paid time off (PTO) programs offer benefits for employers and employees alike, but there are some potential pitfalls if you are not careful.

‘Back to school’ may mean employees need time off

When working parents need time off for school activities, most employers are flexible. But just how far they’ll bend depends on whether employees are nonexempt or exempt under the FLSA and state short-term leave laws.

Must we grant time off for employee to care for a grandparent?

Q. Our company has 30 full-time employees. One of our employees who is working on a key project has asked us for time off to take care of her grandfather, who has cancer, on days after he’s gone through chemotherapy. We know other family members are available to provide this care, and we are worried that it will be a hardship to have the employee away from work. Do we have to give the employee the time off?

New York City statute grants employees new sick leave rights

The New York City Council has passed the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA), overriding Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto. The law will be phased in for private employers. Under ESTA, private-sector employers with 20 or more em­­ployees in New York City will be required to offer each employee at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year beginning on April 1, 2014.

Consistent equal treatment trumps most retaliation claims

Make sure you evenly apply your leave policies to all employees.

State-by-state 2013 short-term child-care leave laws


Here’s a chart summarizing states’ paid and unpaid short-term leave laws. In most cases, leave is unpaid, but employees may substitute paid leave. States that don’t have laws aren’t listed.

Want to offer additional leave for disability? Be sure policy is drafted in your favor


By now, you no doubt know that instantly firing someone who isn’t ready to return from FMLA leave may land you in legal trouble. Some employers have addressed this situation by crafting a policy that provides some additional leave. If you decide to do that, make sure you get legal help creating the actual policy.

When terminating or laying off employees, be sure to pay out accrued leave

California wage-and-hour law requires employers that provide vacation benefits to pay out unused vacation immediately upon termination. However, there’s an exception for union workplaces if the employer and union clearly and unmistakably agree to waive that payment.