Category: FMLA

Extending FMLA to Same Sex Partners

same sex coupleA proposal was on the table from the federal Labor Department to extend eligibility for the Family and Medical Leave Act to same sex couples. This extension in eligibility would affect same sex couples regardless of whether or not the state they reside in recognizes their marriage.

“Under proposed revisions, the FMLA will be applied to all families equally, enabling individuals in same-sex marriages to full exercise rights and fulfill their responsibilities to their families,” said Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez.

However, the rights afforded under FMLA for same sex couples must still operate within its original scope, therefore, can only be extended to private-sector employees.

In light of the recent United States v. Windsor decision, homosexual couples married in states where it is legal, though it is not their home state, must receive the same legal benefits a heterosexual couple retains upon marriage. The exceptions are social security and veteran benefits.

According the Department of Labor’s website today, the definition of spouse now includes same sex or common law marriages that were legally entered into in a state that recognizes said marriages.

Source: Washington Post

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Employees Sue the Most in…

This month, a Hiscox survey revealed the states that employees tend to sue employers the most. The reason for these states higher than normal rates is attributed to state-wide labor codes that supersede federal laws in terms of harsher penalties and repercussions.  So who, what, and where?

Coming in at #5 is the state of Georgia. Georgia’s sue rates are 18% higher than other parts of the country. Tied at #4 are Arizona and Mississippi. Both states see, on average, 19% more lawsuits by employees than the national average.

Alabama rings in at #3 with a 25% above average chance that an employee will sue the employer for violations of labor law. Illinois edges out Alabama for the #2 spot with 26% higher average.

And the state that beats them all? Well, California of course! California is #1 with businesses facing a 43% higher chanced of being sued than the national average. California has employee stricter employee protections put in place as compared to other states in the country. The Fair Employment and Housing Act protects from various discrimination risks and covers companies with five or more employees as opposed to the nation’s 15 employee minimum.

The fives lowest suing states are: Massachusetts, Michigan, Kentucky, Washington, and West Virginia.

Don’t Take Me Out to the Ball Game—I Just Had a Kid!

The New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, just celebrated the birth of his son. But some are not as happy as he is. New York sports radio host, Mike Francesa, controversially slammed the player for taking a collectively bargained paternity leave from the MLB.

According to the leave policies that were agreed upon in 2011, Murphy may take up to 1-3 days of paternity leave. Murphy elected to take the full three days so he could travel to Florida where his wife, Tori, was giving birth. Because of his leave, he missed his second straight game, but is expected back for tonight’s game against the Nationals. Not a big deal right? Well according to Mike Francesa, the leave was wrong. Taking time off to bond with your newborn son, wrong. Why you may ask?

Francesa slammed Murphy for taking advantage of the paternity leave. The radio host called the leave policy a “scam and a half.” He asserted that Murphy should go “one day, go see the baby be born and come back. You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.”

He further said, “What are you going to do? I mean are you going to sit and look at your wife in a hospital bed for two days?…you know that you’re not doing much the first couple of days with the baby that was just born.”

When Francesa found out his co-workers had taken up to 10 days paternity leave, his harsh response was: “for what? To take pictures?” Since, Francesa has been highly criticized for his outdated views on parental responsibility. One male caller said to the host, “Society has come to a point where we recognize this is the most important milestones and it’s important to be with you family.”

Paternity leave is becoming more and more prevalent in workplace policies. Each state differs in their laws. If you have questions about CA paternity leave laws, and feel you have been objected to adverse employment actions, contact an attorney immediately.