Yes, and that would be illegal. While discrimination against women is more common, our country's anti-discrimination laws are gender-neutral. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it's illegal for employers to discriminate "because of sex," and that includes discrimination in any aspect of employment affecting either men or women.
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.
The Treasury Department recently announced that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offers most employers a substantial tax credit for providing paid family and medical leave. How substantial? Between 12.5 and 25 percent of the wages paid. Moreover, it's possible to take the tax credit retroactively this year as long as you put the required policies in place before Dec. 31. And, your short-term disability policy may qualify you for the credit.
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.
The EEOC recently settled a case against Estée Lauder, which had provided six weeks of child-bonding parental leave to "primary caregivers" but only two weeks to "secondary caregivers." The agency said that the policy -- as administered -- discriminated against men. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act both prohibit gender-based discrimination in pay or benefits.
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 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.
As our regular readers know, we have several times discussed in our blog that many Maryland workers are entitled to take leave for work to care for a family member with a serious medical condition or because the employee has a serious health condition making them unable to perform their job.