According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, of American households with children, around 20% have a child with special needs. Now, the Department of Labor has ruled that attending meetings about a child's individual education plan (IEP) is an acceptable use of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently took a new position on the timing of leave taken under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Many employers allow or even require workers to use up their sick time and other paid time off before initiating an FMLA leave. In a March 14 opinion letter, the DOL said that practice is improper. FMLA leave must begin to run within five days of the employer learning that leave is being taken for reasons covered by the FMLA.
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), many employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and/or medical reasons, including:
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, covered employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period. The leave can be used to care for a personal medical condition, to care for certain family members' serious health conditions, to bond with a new child or to deal with emergencies related to a family member's active duty military service. More leave is available to care for a military family member's illness or injury.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take up to 12 workweeks' worth of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for specific reasons. The leave can be taken as a single block or intermittently for shorter periods. It's illegal for employers to interfere with, restrain or deny employees' lawful FMLA leave -- or to retaliate against employees who take it.
When a New York man was diagnosed with cancer, his biological family couldn't care for him. They were in Malaysia, a world away. However, he did have people to help--his "chosen family." And, because of a recent change to New York law, many of those "chosen family" members were able to take paid sick days in order to provide his care.
In Maryland, most full-time employees who have worked at a company for a year are entitled to unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and Maryland law. These laws typically apply to companies with at least 50 employees, although there are some that apply to organizations with only 15 employees.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a resounding "no" upholding a decision in favor of an employer. The employer denied an employee's request for an additional 2-3 months off when his FMLA expired. The Seventh Circuit's decision went so far as to stress that the "ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical-leave entitlement." (Emphasis added.)
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (and similar enactments operative in the states, including in Maryland and Virginia) is protective legislation of great importance to many American workers dealing with serious injuries that require their temporary absence from the workplace.