Tennessee Labor Talk

Category Archives: Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

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DOMA and the FMLA – What Should Employers Do “In the Meantime”?

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

The Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) ruling will impact the “spouse” definition in the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) (among other extensive impacts in the employment law and employment benefits industry). Employers can expect the Department of Labor to issue, relatively soon, some guidance on the definition of spouse in light of… Continue Reading

New FMLA Regulations Have Limited Impact But Will Require New Poster

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

The Department of Labor recently issued new FMLA regulations. The new regulations will take effect March 8, 2013. The regulations will have limited impact on most employers. However, the new regulations will require employers to obtain and post a new poster with the revised language contained in the regulations. The other, more substantive impact is… Continue Reading

EEOC Continues Aggressive Look at Employer Leave Policies

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

The EEOC recently announced two multi-million dollar settlements relating to the targeted employers leave of absence practices. In November, the EEOC announced a $4.5m settlement with Interstate Distributor Company, based on claims that the trucking company did not provide reasonable accommodation to scores of employees who were terminated upon exhausting available leave time. The EEOC… Continue Reading

EEOC Approves Strategic Plan, Focus Includes Equal Pay and Systemic Enforcement

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has approved its strategic plan for fiscal years 2013 to 2016 to set the agency’s national enforcement priorities. The Plan identifies the following six national priorities: eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring; protecting immigrant, migrant, and other vulnerable workers; addressing emerging and developing employment discrimination issues; enforcing equal pay… Continue Reading

FMLA – What Information is Sufficient to Trigger Employer’s Duty to Follow Up

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), employers face significant challenges in understanding how much information from an employee is considered sufficient to trigger the employer’s duty to follow up. Courts have routinely found that minimal information will trigger an employer’s duty to ask if the employee needs leave and the corresponding duty to… Continue Reading

Termination Notice Referring to Disability Considered Direct Evidence of Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A Tennessee federal judge recently ruled that a termination notice referring to an employee’s “long-term disability” was direct evidence of discrimination and retaliation.  The Court granted the employee judgment as a matter of law under the ADA. The employee, Coffman, had been off work on an extended medical leave.  She had exhausted her FMLA leave… Continue Reading

Texas Court Rules Against EEOC – “Lactation Discrimination” Is Not Unlawful Sex Discrimination But …

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Doing Business in Tennessee, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A Cautionary Reminder for Employers A Texas Federal Court recently ruled that terminating an employee because she wanted to pump breast milk at work is not sex discrimination.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on behalf of an individual employee who had mentioned her need to pump breast milk at work and soon thereafter was… Continue Reading

Employers Beware – “How” You Do Is Often As Material As “What” You Do

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A recent ruling reinforces that “how” an employer does what it does often is as important as what it does.  The case appeared relatively straightforward.  An employee missed a work shift and claimed intermittent FMLA leave.  One manager, who had been skeptical about some past intermittent leave use, saw the employee at a birthday party… Continue Reading

ADA Developments – “How Much Leave Is Required?” Is the Wrong Question

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

Based on recent developments, employers wonder how much leave is really required under the ADA.  It seems that employers with even generous policies and practices have run afoul of the EEOC either in individualized cases, or, worse yet, in class claims. Most recently, Verizon Communications Inc. settled for a record $20 million payout based on… Continue Reading

What Do Tennessee’s Family And/Or Medical Leave Laws Require?

Posted in Doing Business in Tennessee, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

Tennessee has a maternity/paternity leave law which permits both male and female full-time employees with 12 consecutive months of service to have four months of unpaid leave for adoption, pregnancy, childbirth and nursing a new infant.  In order for an employee to be covered, the employer must have 100 or more employees on the job… Continue Reading