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Family and Medical Leave Act Archives

Workers in some states are paid while taking family leave

Though employees in Wisconsin can take family leave after a childbirth or adoption, the leave is usually unpaid. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, full-time employees of employers subject to the federal law can take 12 weeks of unpaid time off per year for medical or family reasons. Now, some states are enacting their own family leave laws that allow employees to receive compensation for some of the wages they miss out on during a period of family leave.

Job protection when injuries, illnesses occur

Many employees in Wisconsin have their jobs protected by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act when needing to take time off work for certain reasons. One company and its employee are going to court because of a possible FMLA violation after the worker was fired when leaving because of a sudden illness.

Statute of limitations for FMLA complaints

One of the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers in Wisconsin and around the country to give their workers certain notifications, and they may face litigation when they are unable to establish that these required notices were received. One such case involved a supervisor at a Mississippi energy company who took medical leave to care for his ailing father in 2012.

Making the Family and Medical Leave Act work

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act has nuances that both Wisconsin employees and their supervisors need to understand in order to ensure the program works smoothly. A company's human resources department generally approves an employee's request for leave, but supervisors need to be aware of the act's regulations, too.

Changes in caregiver trends and FMLA

As many Wisconsin families have both parents working to make ends meet, the need for one of them to take time off to care for a sick child could have an adverse employment effect. In other cases, a single-parent household could be headed by either a mother or a father, and that party might need to make use of FMLA rights at times based on a child's medical needs. However, the increasing need for fathers to use this type of leave does not always equate to a cooperative response from an employer. Just over one-fourth of FMLA cases filed for problems related to child care are filed by men.

Disability and hostile work environments

Although most Wisconsin employees and supervisors understand that making fun of another employee's disability is never acceptable in the workplace, it can still occasionally happen. Supervisors especially should remember that it is their responsibility to stop any harassment against employees as soon as possible. Additionally, they are required to take steps that will prevent the harassment in the future.

New poster with easier-to-understand FMLA regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor has produced a new poster on the Family and Medical Leave Act for covered employers in Wisconsin and around the country to post in the workplace. Those employers are not required to use the new poster if they have an older one containing the same information on display, but they might want to because the information is presented in a way that is easier to read and understand.

Employers should train managers on FMLA rights

Many Wisconsin employees may be unaware of their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and their supervisors at work may not be clear on what the policies do and do not permit. Staples, the office supply chain, was forced to pay one of its former employees $250,000 because instead of telling him he could take time off to take care of his wife, who was terminally ill, the company had him working from home. The man was fired, and he successfully sued Staples for interference.

Same-sex spouses of federal workers officially included in FMLA

On April 8, the Office of Personnel Management officially published the final rule that allows gay and lesbian federal workers in Wisconsin and around the country to take time off to care for spouses when they are ill. The rule changes the statutory language in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

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