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family medical leave act (fmla) Archives

All parents may be eligible for FMLA leave

Mothers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere may be entitled to take FMLA leave during a pregnancy or after giving birth. However, fathers are also generally entitled to take the same unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or the child's mother. Eligible fathers may take FMLA leave even if the mother also takes leave. Those who work for covered employers are eligible for such time off.

Termination close to FMLA leave can be problematic

Pennsylvania employees who lose their jobs during or soon after taking family leave sometimes accuse their employers of retaliation. Negative actions taken toward employees when they request time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act might impose liabilities on employers even if an employee had been receiving poor job evaluations.

Appeals court requires lower standard in FMLA case

Pennsylvania employees might have a lower burden of proof in demonstrating that they were fired in retaliation for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In a case involving a woman with poor job reviews, the employer had extensively documented issues with her performance. These issues were put into writing, and the woman was given extra training in an effort to deal with them. When the extra training did not help, she was placed on a 90-day probation.

FMLA, FLSA still observed during natural disasters

Pennsylvania employers whose workplaces are in areas where a natural disaster happens are still bound by the laws of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers should keep this mind when they are making disaster preparedness plans and should have clear policies in place.

Court sides with employee after employer misinterprets FMLA

Pennsylvania workers who are struggling to assert their right to family leave might be encouraged by a ruling from a federal appeals court. It upheld a lower court's jury verdict in favor of the employee using time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for her autistic son.

FMLA retaliation case linked to time of employer's actions

Some Pennsylvania employees may believe they have been retaliated against at work for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. One factor a court will take into account when determining if FMLA retaliation has taken place is the proximity in terms of time of the employer's action to the FMLA leave. This was the case when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit overturned the dismissal of a lower court in a FMLA retaliation case.

Employers could be responsible for supervisor discrimination

Pennsylvania employers might be liable if a supervisor takes an action that discriminates against an employee. A U.S Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit split panel reversed a decision by a lower court in a case that involved a woman being fired after returning from leave she took under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The woman argued that two supervisors showed bias against her for taking the leave. However, a district court has dismissed the woman's claims.

The "in loco parentis" relationship and FMLA leave

Some Pennsylvania employees might be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for people who are not legally or biologically their parent or child if the relationship has been like that of parent and child. "In loco parentis" refers to this type of relationship, and it may be required for an employer to establish whether this relationship exists before approving or denying leave.