Proposed Regulations:
Yesterday, the Department of Labor published its proposed regulations (pdf) to address the recently enacted changes to military leave and eligibility requirements for flight crew members. Beyond the changes detailed below, the DOL clarified that employers are not required to provide employees with FMLA-protected military caregiver leave for the "serious injury or illness of

In a scenario that frequently occurs in workplaces across the country, Linda Buck, the vice president of human resources at Proctor Hospital, was asked to terminate Vincent Staub based on information contained in a report from his supervisors that accused him of violating the terms of a “corrective action” disciplinary warning. Relying on this accusation and her own review of Mr. Staub’s personnel file, Ms. Buck decided to terminate Mr. Staub’s employment. Mr. Staub protested to Ms. Buck that his supervisors were hostile to his military obligations as a member of the U.S. Army reserves, but rather than follow up on Mr. Staub’s concern with his supervisors, Ms. Buck simply conferred with another human resources staff member and adhered to her termination decision. Mr. Staub sued Proctor under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) claiming that his discharge was motivated by hostility to his obligations as a military reservist. His contention was not that Ms. Buck had any such hostility but that his supervisors did, and that their actions influenced Ms. Buck’s ultimate employment decision. (This type of case has been referred to as a "Cat’s Paw" case, based on an Aesop’s fable involving a cat, a monkey, chestnuts and fire. Justice Scalia provides more information at footnote 1 of his majority opinion.)

A jury found that Mr. Staub’s “military status was a motivating factor in [Proctor’s] decision to discharge him,” and awarded $57,640 in damages. The Seventh Circuit reversed, holding that Proctor was entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Ms. Buck had relied on more than just the supervisors’ advice in making her termination decision.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Upholds “Cat’s Paw” Liability

Employers should take notice of Ohio Revised Code Chapter 5906, which became effective on July 2, 2010. This law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide up to two weeks of unpaid leave to an employee who is the spouse, parent, or a person with legal custody of a uniformed service member called into active duty or injured while on active duty.
Continue Reading Ohio’s New Military Family Leave Law Takes Effect

The Family and Medical Leave Act has undergone yet another expansion. On October 27, 2009, President Obama signed H.R. 2647, known as the "Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act.” This new law comes on the heels of new FMLA rights that were just drafted at the end of 2008 for employees with family members serving in

Many employers may feel they are currently in a state of limbo with respect to their FMLA policies and obligations. As we reported on our Blog in January, the FMLA was amended on January 28, 2008 to include “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on active duty in the military or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status as an additionally qualifying reason for up to 12 weeks of leave. The amendment also created a new leave entitlement of up to 26 weeks of leave for an employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a servicemember who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty. 

Continue Reading FMLA Update – Are You Posted?