This month the City of Austin passed the State’s first municipal paid sick leave ordinance requiring private employers to provide earned sick time to employees. Beginning on October 1, 2018 (and October 1, 2020 for employers with five or fewer employees), employers with employees working in the City of Austin must provide employees with earned sick time.

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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

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

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

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

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. 

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