DOL Expands Family Leave for Same-Sex Parents

June 23, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

by Julie K. Athey

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released a new “administrative interpretation” (AI) that clarifies the circumstances in which an employee may take leave to care for a child for whom they act as a parent but aren’t legally recognized as such. As has been pointed out in numerous press reports over the last couple of days, the ruling appears to grant expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights to gay and lesbian employees.

Although initial reports made it seem that the administrative interpretation would allow employees to take leave to care for a same-sex partner, the actual ruling is far less dramatic. The DOL explains that its intent is to assist employees and employers in understanding “how the FMLA applies when there is no legal or biological parent-child relationship.” In short, it addresses much broader issues than the circumstances in which an employee may take leave to care for a same-sex partner’s child.

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DOL Says Employees May Take FMLA Leave When Domestic Partner Gives Birth or Adopts

June 22, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is expected to issue guidance on Wednesday that will grant expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights to gay and lesbian employees. The development, however, may not be as dramatic as it sounds.

Initial overnight reports made it appear that the Obama administration was expanding the FMLA to allow employees to take leave to care for a same-sex partner. However, it appears that isn’t the case. Several new outlets are now reporting that the expansion will apply only to the limited situation when an employee requests leave in relation to the birth or adoption of a same-sex partner’s child.

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Congress Expands FMLA’s Military Family Leave Provisions

October 27, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Congress has moved with surprising speed in passing legislation to expand the situations in which an employee may take military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The “Supporting Military Families Act of 2009″ was only introduced in the House and Senate in late July. Now it has been tacked on to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010, which has been approved in both houses of Congress and sent to President Barack Obama. He is expected to sign the legislation.

The Supporting Military Families Act enacts several major changes to the military family leave provisions of the FMLA: read more…

OPM Issues Proposed Regs for FMLA, Other Types of Leave

August 27, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued proposed regulations to address various issues regarding how federal employers may comply with the new military caregiver provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The proposed regulations are similar to the FMLA regulations issued last year by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). They have, however, been tweaked to address the interaction of the military caregiver leave provisions with the various paid leave programs that are available to federal employees. The regulations do not address qualifying exigency leave because that type of leave is not afforded to federal employees.

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Compensatory, Punitive Damages for Wisconsion Discrimination Claims

June 09, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Governor Doyle recently signed Senate Bill 20, which drastically changes discrimination claims under Wisconsin law. Previously, discrimination claims based under Wisconsin law were processed by the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development (ERD). The only remedies available were back pay, attorneys’ fees, and reinstatement (or front pay in some instances).

Under the new law, employees can sue employers in state court for compensatory and punitive damages up to $300,000 if the employer has more than 500 employees. The compensatory and punitive damage claims don’t apply to employers with fewer than 15 employees. For employers with 15 to 100 employees, the compensatory/punitive damage cap is $50,000. For employers with 100 to 200 employees, the cap is $100,000. For employers with 200 to 500 employees, the cap is $200,000.

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Categories: FMLA / HR Hero Alerts / Wisconsin

New Employment Laws and Regulations Going into Effect

December 31, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

While the world has been focused on the U.S. and global economic meltdown, a historic presidential election, and staggering unemployment numbers, some pretty significant changes have been made in federal employment laws and regulations with most going into effect in just a few weeks. A recent issue of HR Hero Line includes a roundup of those laws and regulations including:

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FMLA virtual summit provides opportunity to speak with lawyers

December 08, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On January 16, 2009, all employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will have a new batch of regulations to contend with. To help HR professionals prepare, M. Lee Smith Publishers offered its first-ever, FMLA virtual summit — a day-long event during which participants could watch online, listen on the phone, and interact with employment law experts John B. Phillips Jr., Kara E. Shea, and Stacie L. Caraway, attorneys with the law firm Miller & Martin.

Caraway led the segment of the program on the new FMLA regs. A significant portion of her discussion was devoted to the new regulations granting protected leave for military family members.

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Categories: FMLA

New FMLA regulations explained

November 24, 2008 - by: HR Hero 3 COMMENTS

A special issue of HR Hero Line, a free weekly e-zine from HR Hero and employment law attorneys who are part of the Employers Counsel Network, took an in-depth look at the new FMLA regulations that go into effect January 16 and what they mean to employers.

10 key changes in new FMLA regulations” by Susan M. Webman details 10 issues that the new Famuily and Medical Leave Act rules address, including substituting time off, employees’ waiver of FMLA rights, light duty work, and employee and employer notification requirements. Webman and her colleague David Fortney at the law firm of Fortney & Scott, LLC, and Rodney Satterwhite of the law firm McGuireWoods LLP will present a 90 minute audio conference on the new FMLA regulations and another audio conference on changes the new FMLA regs have made to intermittent leave.

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Categories: Federal Laws / FMLA

New FMLA Regulations Issued by DOL

November 14, 2008 - by: HR Hero 5 COMMENTS

Final regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), were issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The new regulations allow employers more control over when employees can take leave. As expected, the new regulations cover the recently enacted leave benefits for family members of both seriously injured or ill service members and National Guard and Reserve members who have been called to service. These are the first significant revisions to the FMLA regulations since the law was enacted 15 years ago and will affect all employers subject to the FMLA.

Read the entire FMLA regs from the DOL

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Categories: Connecticut / Federal Laws / FMLA / Kansas

DOL Closer to Issuing New FMLA Regs

November 10, 2008 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

Update: New FMLA regulations issued by DOL on November 14, 2008

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its final draft of revised Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, which could be published in the Federal Register this month. These would be the first new FMLA regulations since 1995, when the current regulations were issued. The FMLA itself was enacted in 1993.

In developing the draft final regs, the DOL reviewed several thousand comments on the proposed FMLA regulations it published back in February of this year. The contents of the final draft aren’t yet known, of course, but the final rules may retain some of the following proposed regulations.

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Categories: Federal Laws / FMLA

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