Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Category Archives: Leave of Absence

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EEOC Publishes Resource on Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted in Disability, Leave of Absence, News & Commentary
This week the EEOC published a resource document intended to provide guidance on providing disabled employees with leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. According to the Commission, [It] continues to receive charges indicating that some employers may be unaware of Commission positions about leave and the ADA.  For example, some employers may not know… Continue Reading

DOL Publishes The Employer’s Guide to the FMLA: And its Pretty Good!

Posted in Leave of Absence
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division published The Employer’s Guide to the FMLA. The Department intended the Guide to be an informational resource to “provide essential information about the FMLA” and increase employer’s knowledge of the law, obligations and options available to employers administering FMLA leave. The Guide is broken out by section… Continue Reading

HR Directors Beware: You Too Can be Sued for FMLA Violations

Posted in Case Summaries, Human Resources, Leave of Absence
A recent case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals should remind HR Directors (and supervisors) to be particularly vigilant in handling employee FMLA leaves of absence. In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, the appellate court reversed a trial court victory for the employer and the two individual supervisors (one of whom was the HR… Continue Reading

Delivery of FMLA Notices by First Class Mail Does Not Rule Out Disputes Over Receipt of Notice

Posted in Case Summaries, Leave of Absence
The DOL regulations require FMLA-covered employers to provide various notices to employees.  The regulations do not dictate how all of the notices must be delivered.  Most employers utilize hand-delivery or regular U.S. mail for most pre-leave notices (eligibility and pre-leave designations) and use U.S. mail almost exclusively for post-leave notices (i.e., when the employee is already out on leave).… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes Rule to Extend FMLA Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses in Texas

Posted in Leave of Absence, Legislation
Last week the U.S. Department of Labor published a proposed rule to extend FMLA benefits to same-sex spouses on the same terms as spouses of other legally recognized marriages.   This will confirm, if passed, that FMLA benefits must be provided to all eligible employees to: care for their legally married spouses who have a serious health… Continue Reading

FMLA Doesn’t Always Require Reinstatement to an Equivalent Position

Posted in Human Resources, Leave of Absence
While the FMLA normally requires an eligible employee be reinstated to an equivalent position at the end of his FMLA leave, the employee has no greater right to reinstatement than if the employee had been continually employed.  Thus, there are several situations where an employee is not entitled to reinstatement. First, where an employer conducts a layoff or reduction… Continue Reading

Using GPS Tracking Technology to Prove Intermittent FMLA Abuse?

Posted in Leave of Absence
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide next term whether it is law enforcement’s warrantless placement of GPS devices on a suspect’s vehicle amounts to an unlawful search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment.  The Fifth Circuit has already authorized law enforcement’s use of this warrantless tactic.  Similarly, a New Jersey court has blessed a spouse’s use of GPS tracking technology… Continue Reading

EEOC Holds Hearing on Leave of Absence as Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Disability, Leave of Absence, Reasonable Accommodation
This week the EEOC held a hearing on whether new or updated regulations and enforcement guidance was needed with respect to providing leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees.  The EEOC has recently been very aggressive in bringing suit against employers that use maximum leave policies or "inflexible" policies that provide no exception for reasonable accommodation.  For… Continue Reading

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Posted in Human Resources, Leave of Absence
If I had a dollar for every time I reminded a client that "no good deed goes unpunished," my childrens’ college funds would be flush and I’d be planning to retire early.  The recent case of Terwilliger v. Howard Mem. Hosp. (W.D. Ark. 1/27/2011) reminds us that employees will often attempt to ensure that "no good… Continue Reading

Court Rules Employee Does Not Necessarily Need to Comply with Employer’s Heightened FMLA Notice Procedure

Posted in Case Summaries, Leave of Absence
The exercise of sound judgment and the uniform, mechanical application of employment policies are not always synonymous. Every FMLA-covered employer in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana should be interested in the Fifth Circuit’s most recent FMLA case resulting from an employer’s uniform application of its internal FMLA reporting policy. In Saenz v. Harlington Medical Center, the Court decided,… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Holds State Agencies Immune from FMLA Self-Care Lawsuits

Posted in Case Summaries, Discrimination, Leave of Absence
In its first FMLA opinion, the Texas Supreme Court held that agencies of the State of Texas cannot be sued for FMLA violations arising out of an employee’s FMLA leave taken for his own serious health condition.   In University of Texas at El Paso v. Herrera, the Supreme Court of Texas held that, unlike the family care provisions of the… Continue Reading

FMLA Amended For Second Time in Two Years

Posted in Leave of Absence
President Obama signed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act setting the budget for the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2010.  The NDAA amends the Family & Medical Leave Act and is effective immediately.  In relevant part, the NDAA amends the FMLA to extend its military leave entitlements.  The FMLA is amended, in relevant part, as follows: Expands the exigency… Continue Reading

Texas Employers May be Required to Give Employees Paid Time Off to Vote

Posted in Discrimination, Human Resources, Leave of Absence, Wage & Hour
As we approach local elections, it is good to remember that Texas law may require an employer to provide an employee with paid time off to vote.  The Texas Election Code makes it a Class C misdemeanor for an employer to refuse to allow an employee to be absent from work on election day for purpose… Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Update: Employee Leaves of Absence

Posted in Leave of Absence, Legislation
There are several pending bills in the Texas legislature that could effect the leaves of absence private employers must make available to their employees.  Some of these types of leaves have already been passed in more liberal states such as California and Massachusetts.  Pending leave of absence bills in the Texas legislature include:   HB 615 Permitting employees with a child enrolled… Continue Reading