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November 2015 Newsletter

A question was posed to me on Twitter this past week: Shouldn’t former University of Southern California (USC) football coach Steve Sarkisian have been placed on FMLA leave to get treatment for apparent alcoholism instead of getting sacked by USC? [Pun intended, of course.] For those of you not familiar with Mr. Sarkisian, according to multiple reports, the second-year USC football coach allegedly showed up intoxicated to a team meeting...
The end of the federal government fiscal year (September 30) always produces a flurry of activity from the EEOC, and this year was no different.  Of the 157 lawsuits filed by the EEOC in fiscal year 2015, approximately 62 of them were filed between September 1 and September 30, 2015. The Fiscal year provides a good time to assess EEOC priorities and potential implication for employers. ADA enforcement continues to be a high priority. The...
Q. In trying to reduce the amount of FMLA abuse in our Company (about 30% usage), we are contemplating having employees returning from FMLA leave complete a form that asks why they were out, had they been out for this reason before (and when), and that they took leave for the reason they provided. Can we implement this procedure without violating the FMLA? A.  This procedural requirement does not necessarily run afoul of the FMLA, but...
“Drag a $100 bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” “Did NOT!” Can a denial open you up for a defamation suit? Apparently. This is essentially what recently happened to Bill Cosby. Three women said that Mr. Cosby sexually abused them many years ago, before many of you were born. The incidents fell well outside the statutes...
Q. We keep track of work hours for non-exempt employees using an electronic timekeeping system. For our exempt employees, we really have no records of how many hours they are working each day or week. Are we required to? Even if it's not required, should we? A. Like many legal questions, the answer is "it depends." The first question is somewhat easier. The FLSA requires employers to maintain accurate records of the hours worked by non-exempt...
One FMLA rule that tends to fly under the radar is the amount of FMLA leave available to married couples who work for the same employer. Under 29 CFR 201(b), married couples in this situation can be required to share a combined 12 weeks of FMLA leave in two circumstances: To bond with their new child; orTo care for their own parent with a serious health condition.The actual regulation states it like this: Spouses who are eligible for FMLA...
Last week, UPS settled its long-running case with Peggy Young, the employee whose case went up to the Supreme Court after she was denied light duty.  As many will recall from an earlier blog post, the high court found that UPS’s policy of refusing light duty to pregnant employees violated the “Pregnancy Discrimination Act” (“PDA”).  See, Young v. United Parcel Service, 575 U.S.___(2015). Even before the case reached the Supreme Court,...
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