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Unmarried employee couple is expecting: Can both take FMLA leave?

Q. A while ago two of our employees developed a romantic relationship. They are now expecting a baby and both workers put in a request for family leave to bond with their newborn. Are we required to give both workers leave for the birth of their child—even if they are not married?

DOL’s 2014 budget request tips off coming enforcement blitz

The DOL’s FY2014 budget request reveals plans to greatly step up enforcement of the FLSA, the FMLA and workplace safety laws—and a looming crackdown on independent contractor misclassification.

ADA accommodation may not be possible, but explore the options

Under the ADA and the MHRA, disabled workers are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Deciding what’s reasonable requires an interactive process in which both employer and employee discuss options that allow the employee to perform essen­­tial job functions. The employer then can choose which accommodation it prefers.

‘Magic word’ not needed for accommodation


By now, you are probably familiar with the idea your FMLA obligations are triggered when employees provide enough information for you to reasonably understand that they might need FMLA leave. They don’t need to say any “magic words.” It’s the same with requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA.

You could personally pay for FMLA violations

The FMLA provides for individual liability for those who are responsible for approving FMLA leave and ensuring the employer follows the law on leave and reinstatement. That means managers—and HR staff!—can be held personally responsible for FMLA mistakes, potentially costing them the loss of their own personal funds.

Employee tardy due to FMLA caretaking? That’s not legitimate FMLA ‘leave’

It’s difficult to track which out-of-the-office hours qualify for FMLA leave. But what if the employee comes to work, only to spend much of her time on the cellphone dealing with the relative’s serious health condition?

What are the details on new FMLA changes?

Q. Are we required to put up a new FMLA poster? Did the DOL recently make other FMLA changes we need to know about?

On the DOL’s regulatory horizon: WHD rules, ‘right to know’


The most recently released regulatory agenda of the DOL focuses on three major areas: 1. A “plan/prevent/protect” strategy that seeks to achieve compliance with workplace laws each and every day. 2. A departmental commitment to openness and transparency. 3. Reducing employee risk.

Ensure FMLA eligibility before approving leave

Here’s a problem that’s quite common for employers with several work sites spread far apart and one common HR department. Many employees may be eligible for FMLA leave, but some may not be if they work at a location with fewer than 50 employees that’s located within 75 miles of the main office.

Reinstate employee to equivalent job after FMLA leave

When an employee finishes FMLA leave, she is entitled to return to the same or an equivalent job. The reinstatement provision gives employees some flexibility. How­­ever, it’s a mistake to think it’s OK to return the employee to any old job.