Posts Tagged ‘family and medical leave’

Report: U.S. Can Learn From World on Implementing Paid Family, Medical Leave

We have many things to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, but unfortunately widespread access to paid family and medical leave isn’t one of them.

Only three states have paid family and medical leave laws, and some companies have adopted them. But the “United States’ lack of a national paid family medical leave program makes it an extreme outlier among all other advanced economies, according to a report issued last week by the Center for American Progress based in Washington, D.C.

We should look beyond our shores for answers, says the report, says the November 19 report, titled Administering Paid Family and Medical Leave, Learning from Domestic and International Examples.

While the United States lags behind the rest of the world on the issue of paid leave, there is no compelling reason why it couldn’t create a national paid family and medical leave program, the report says, citing examples and best practices from other countries that the United States can draw upon to develop and implement paid leave. The report outlines the three broad types of structures for ensuring access to paid leave that have been used by states and other countries, and explains how they could function in the U.S.

Those three structures are:

  • Employer requirement programs, in which businesses are responsible for providing paid leave;
  • Social insurance programs, in which risk and resources are pooled to provide a fund for wage replacement during leave;
  • Publicly funded programs, in which government resources are utilized to provide workers with paid leave.

You can download the report from this link.




No FMLA Violation in Enforcing Usual Leave Procedures, Seventh Circuit Holds

An employer doesn’t have to throw out its usual procedures for requesting leave in order to satisfy an employee’s request for Family and Medical Leave Act leave, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on August 7.

The case involved a worker whose job entailed lifting heavy part weighing between 20 and 75 pounds. The employee has attendance problems, and had called in absent 19 times from January through September 2009, including for FMLA leave.

The employee and the employer disputed in September 2009 whether he had given proper notice for leave for scheduled abdominal surgery.

According to the employer, the employee did not use the word hernia and only indicated that he might be having surgery soon. He and his employer dispute whether he submitted paperwork concerning a restriction on lifting. The employee missed several more days and failed to call in, in violation of company policy, and was terminated.

No FMLA violation here, the appeals court ruled, affirming a lower court, because an FMLA regulation expressly says an employer can enforce its “usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.”

It’s in 29 C.F.R. 825.302(d).

Here’s the court’s ruling in Srouder v. Dana Light Axle Mfg LLC, No. 12-5835.

Fed Ex Victorious in Ex-Driver’s FMLA Suit

Federal Express’ “zero-tolerance” policy against driver falsification of delivery records won the day in a federal appeals court last week as the company fended off a former driver’s FMLA lawsuit.

The company uncovered the timekeeping discrepancies prior to her taking FMLA leave for knee surgery. A supervisor reportedly told the driver that the company would do its best to keep her job open for her.

Following her return from FMLA leave, her supervisor confronted her with the evidence and the company fired her shortly thereafter.

Fed Ex has a policy of discharging employees who deliberately falsified delivery records. “It is hard to see how it could be otherwise, for the honest reporting of deliveries goes to the heart of Fed Ex’s entire business enterprise,” the appeals court said.

The driver failed to show direct evidence of discrimination or that she was treated any worse than an employee not on FMLA leave would have been treated for the same violation, the court held.

Here’s the court’s opinion.

Study: U.S. Has Ways to Go To Help Working Parents

Just in time for Mother’s Day, a new study from the National Partnership for Women and Families takes our society to task for not doing enough to help new working parents in their quest to balance work and family.

“Across the political spectrum, more of our nation’s leaders acknowledge that 21st century families face significant challenges in meeting their responsibilities at home and on the job,” says Expecting Better–A State by State Analysis of Laws that Help New Parents.

According to the report, however, existing U.S. policies don’t apply to all new parents and don’t address all of their needs.

Read the report here.