Leave of Absence for Small Employers Not Covered by FMLA

paperclip-178126_1920Employers with 50 or more employees must offer eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But what about employers with less than 50 employees? Are they required to provide a leave of absence to an employee with an illness or injury or to an employee who has a family member with a serious illness or injury? Quite possibly. There are a number of federal and state laws which may require an employer to provide a leave of absence, even when the employer is not covered by FMLA. Continue reading

The Family and Medical Leave Act

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period where their job is guaranteed upon their return. The law also requires that any group health insurance benefits the employee participates in are continued for the duration of the FMLA leave as if the employee was still working full time.

Covered Employers

FMLA only applies to companies with 50 or more employees during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the previous or current calendar year. This may include members of controlled groups and joint employers if the total employee count is 50 or more. In addition, all public agencies (including local, state and federal government agencies) as well as public and private elementary or secondary schools are covered employers regardless of the number of employees.

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California Employers Must Provide Notice to Employees of Rights to Domestic Violence Leave

On September 14th, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new bill, AB 237employmentlawupdate7, which requires employers with 25 or more employees to provide notice to their employees of their right to a protected leave of absence for domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

By no later than July 1, 2017 the California Labor Commissioner is expected to develop and publish a form to be used to provide this notice to employees at the time of hire and at any time during employment upon employee request. Continue reading

Illinois: New Child Bereavement Leave Act

On July 29, 2016 Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Child Bereavement Leave Act which became effective immediately. chicago-61213_1920

The Act requires employers with 50 or more employees who are subject to the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide eligible employees with up to 10 days of unpaid time off following the death of the employee’s child. Employees become eligible for the leave based on the eligibility requirements of the FMLA – that is after the employee has worked at least 12 months for the employer and has worked at least 1,250 in the preceding 12 month period.

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Los Angeles: New Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On June 2, 2016 the City of Los Angeles approved a city sick leave ordinance separate from the required California state sick leave requirements. This new city ordinance goes into effect on July 1, 2016.

Employees who work two or more hours in a week in the city of Los Angeles will accrue up to 48 hours of sick leave per year. Ttime-371226_1280his is double the amount required by California state law (24 hours).

This new rule applies to employers of all sizes with employees working in Los Angeles. There is not a lower cap for small employers like there is for San Francisco or Santa Monica small employers. Continue reading

Wisconsin Bone Marrow and Organ Donor Leave

Beginning July 1, 2016, Wisconsin employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide eligible employees with up to six weeks of unphammer-485712_1920aid leave in a 12-month period when the employee undergoes a procedure for bone marrow or organ donation.

Eligible Employees

Employees are eligible for the bone marrow and organ donor leave if they have worked for the same employer for at least one consecutive year and if they have worked at least 1,000 hours during the preceding 52-week period.  Continue reading

New York to Begin Paid Family Leave Program

On April 4, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law which will allow eligible employees to receive paid family leave benefits. New York is the fourth state to enact legislation requiring paid family leave, following California, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The paid family leave benefits will gradually be implemented, eventually statue-of-liberty-962268_1280reaching a maximum of 12 weeks of leave by January 1, 2021.

The new paid leave will be funded by New York’s disability benefits fund through mandatory employee payroll deductions of approximately $1.00 per week. Employers will not be obligated to pay employees for time off under the new paid family leave program.

Employees will be eligible for paid family leave benefits after six consecutive months of employment with the same employer. All employees working at least 6 months at a single employer are eligible, regardless of the company size or the number of hour
s the employee has worked for that employer. Continue reading