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Tuesday
Mar052013

Employers: New Posting Requirement & Expanded FMLA Regs

Lawyer for EmployerWage and Hour Defense

 

by Nicole Kamm
818.907.3235

 

Marking the 20th anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued new FMLA regulations on February 6, 2013. 

The regulations, which take effect Friday, March 8, 2013, expand FMLA protections for military family members and airline flight crews. The regulations also clarify intermittent leave calculations, and remind employers of their confidentiality obligations under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

Highlights from the new FMLA regulations are summarized below:

 

Military Family Leave

 

Current FMLA regulations provide “qualifying exigency” leave for eligible family members of certain military personnel to address issues related to certain military deployments. The revised regulations clarify that qualifying exigency leave is intended for family members of persons serving in the regular Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserves who are on active duty or called to active duty in a foreign country.  

Additionally, a new category of qualifying exigency leave – parental leave -- has been added. Parental care exigency leave may be utilized to make arrangements for care of parents of military members.

 

Military Caregiver Leave

 

FMLA regulations currently provide leave to care for certain military members with serious injuries or illness. 

Military caregiver leave has been expanded to include leave to care for covered veterans who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness. A covered veteran is an individual who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable in the five-year period prior to the date the employee’s military caregiver leave begins.  

 

Intermittent Leave

 

Regarding intermittent leave, the new regulations clarify that employers must use the shortest increment of time the employer uses to account for other forms of leave, provided it is not greater than one hour. For example, if an employer allows an employee to take vacation in 15-minute increments, it must allow employees to take FMLA in 15-minute increments. 

 

Airline Flight Crew Eligibility

 

The new regulations state airline flight crew employees meet the FMLA hours-of-service eligibility requirement if they:

(1) have worked or been paid not less than 60 percent of the applicable total monthly guarantee (i.e., not less than 60 percent of the minimum number of hours an employer has agreed to schedule the employee), and

(2) have worked or been paid for not less then 504 hours during the previous 12 months. 

Airline employees who are not flight crew members continue to be covered under the general FMLA hours-of-service eligibility standard (1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months).

 

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

 

The regulations include a reminder to employers of their obligation to comply with the confidentiality requirements of GINA to the extent records and documents created for FMLA purposes contain family medical history or genetic information. 

Under both FMLA and GINA, employee information relating to medical certification or family medical history must be maintained as confidential medical records in separate files from the usual personnel files, and may only be disclosed under certain limited circumstances.

 

New FMLA Poster/Forms

 

In addition to the above, the DOL has published an updated FMLA poster for covered employers (i.e., employers with 50+ employees), as well as several updated (optional-use) forms. The new poster, which must be posted by March 8, 2013, is available on the DOL website. California employers should use caution when using the DOL’s forms, which may not be compliant with state law.

 

FMLA covered employers should review their policies and forms to ensure consistency with the new regulations. Employers should confirm they are properly accounting for intermittent leave (increments of one hour, or shorter if other forms of leave are permitted in shorter increments). Employers should be aware of and provide qualifying exigency and military caregiver leave when needed. 

Finally, covered employers should replace their current FMLA posters with the revised poster and review recordkeeping policy and practice to ensure compliance with FMLA and GINA.

 

Nicole Kamm is an Employment Attorney who helps employers minimize the risk of wage and hour, harassment, discrimination and FMLA claims. Contact her via email: nkamm@lewitthackman.com.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Thursday
Sep012011

Labor Laws 2011 - New NLRB Employment Law Poster

Wage and Hour DefenseEmployment Defense Attorney

by Sue M. Bendavid

818.907.3220

Employer Lawyer Los Angeles Google+ 

 

Attention Employers: There is a new labor law poster that must be displayed by most private-sector employers before November 14, 2011.

The poster is mandated by the National Labor Relations Board (the NRLB). The poster is intended to advise employees of their rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act (the NRLA). Employers should be able to obtain the newest addition to the employer compliance posters before November 1st.

The compliance poster will contain information about the rights of employees to do the following:

▪ Act together to improve wages and working conditions;
▪ Form, join or assist a union;
▪ Bargain collectively with an employer; and
▪ To refrain from any of the above-listed activities.

The poster will provide examples of unlawful employer and union conduct, and it also provides contact information for the NLRB should employees wish to ask questions or lodge complaints.

Who Must Display the NLRB Poster?

Because the subject matter applies to all private-sector employers subject to the NLRA, as well as all union and non-union workplaces, almost all private employers in the U.S. will need to display this latest addition to employment law posters.

Certain industries and individuals are not covered by the Act. Exemptions include:

▪ Public-sector employees
▪ Agricultural and domestic workers
▪ Independent contractors and supervisors
▪ Workers employed by a parent or spouse
▪ Employees of air and rail carriers covered by the Railway Labor Act

Also, if you are a small employer (as defined by the Act) you might not be subject to the NLRB’s jurisdiction.

The notice is in English, but will also be available in other languages. If 20 percent or more of your work force is not proficient in English, you will have to display the notice in other languages as well. For example, if 20 percent of your employees speak Spanish, you will need a Spanish language poster.

Where Should You Display Employment Law Posters?

 

Employer compliance posters, including this latest one required by the NLRB, should be displayed in a conspicuous location where employees will readily see it. You should place these required notices anywhere you normally display personnel rules and policies.

If for example, you have a minimum wage poster displayed in an employee break room or by a time clock, you should post the new compliance poster in those areas as well.

You will not have to distribute the NLRB required poster electronically, but if you normally make notices of employee policy changes or display posters on a company intranet or website, you will have to add the new compliance poster to those platforms too.

If you have any questions about the new poster, labor laws or employer requirements, call me: 818.990.2120.

Sue M. Bendavid is a Los Angeles Employment Attorney and Chair of our Employment Law Practice Group. She represents employers throughout California.

 

 
Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

 

 

LEWITT HACKMAN | 16633 Ventura Boulevard, Eleventh Floor, Encino, California 91436-1865 | 818.990.2120