New Expiration Date for Several Model FMLA Notices is June 30, 2018

Model Notices Previously Expired on May 31, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has extended the effective date of the following model FMLA notices through June 30, 2018:

Previously, these model notices expired on May 31, 2018. No other changes have been made to these notices besides their effective date.

For further guidance regarding these notices, please contact the WHD directly at 1-866-487-2365.

Posted by HR360

South Carolina Enacts Pregnancy Accommodation Law

Law Contains New Notice & Poster Requirement

South Carolina has enacted a new law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against employees with medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. In particular, the law prohibits covered employers from failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions unless it can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on its business.

Notice & Poster Requirements
Covered employers must provide a written notice regarding the law to existing employees by September 14, 2018, and all new hires on or after that date. The notice must be also conspicuously posted at an employer’s place of business. The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission is expected to issue a model notice in the coming months.

Click here to read the text of the law, which is currently in effect.

 

Originally Posted by HR360

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act amends the current statute prohibiting discrimination in employment, G.L. c. 151B, §4, enforced by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

The Act, effective on April 1, 2018, expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the
basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, such as lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child. It also describes employers’ obligations to employees that are pregnant or lactating and the protections these employees are entitled to receive. Generally, employers may not treat employees or job applicants less favorably than other employees based on pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions and have an obligation to accommodate pregnant workers.

Under the Act:

  • Upon request for an accommodation, the employer has an obligation to communicate with the employee in order to determine a reasonable accommodation for the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition. This is called an “interactive process,” and it must be done in good faith. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment that allows the employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing a pregnancy-related condition, without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer must accommodate conditions related to pregnancy, including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on the employer. “Undue hardship” means that providing the accommodation would cause the employer significant difficulty or expense.
  • An employer cannot require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, or to begin disability or parental leave if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship to the employer.
  • An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant job applicant or applicant with a pregnancy-related condition, because of the pregnancy or the pregnancy-related condition, if an applicant is capable of performing the essential functions of the position with a reasonable accommodation.
  • An employer cannot deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s request for or use of a reasonable accommodation for a pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
  • An employer cannot require medical documentation about the need for an accommodation if the accommodation requested is for: (i) more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk. An employer, may, owever, request medical documentation for other accommodations.
  • Employers must provide written notice to employees of the right to be free from discrimination due to pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including the right to reasonable accommodations for conditions related to pregnancy, in a handbook, pamphlet, or other means of notice no later than April 1, 2018.
  • Employers must also provide written notice of employees’ rights under the Act: (1) to new employees at or prior to the start of employment; and (2) to an employee who notifies the employer of a pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, no more than 10 days after such notification.

As of today, there has not been any mandatory posters associated with this update that will be included in our posters. All in One Poster Company will continued to monitor this labor law update.

The foregoing is a synopsis of the requirements under the Act, and both employees and employers are encouraged to read the full text of the law available on the General Court’s website here:
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2017/Chapter54.

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, you may file a formal complaint with the MCAD. You may also have the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if the conduct violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both agencies require the formal complaint to be filed within 300 days of the discriminatory act.

Originally published by MCAD

DOL Releases New FMLA Poster and Employer’s Guide

new20fmla20banner200416The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released an updated version of the “Employee Rights Under the [Federal] Family and Medical Leave Act”poster (often referred to as the “General FMLA Notice”), along with a newemployer’s guide to help employers comply with the law.

Background
The FMLA provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. The law also includes certain family military leave entitlements.

Private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year must comply with the FMLA.

New Poster
The DOL released an April 2016 version of the FMLA poster that covered employers are required to display in a conspicuous place where employees and applicants can see it. A poster must be displayed at all locations even if there are no employees eligible for FMLA leave. If a covered employer has any eligible employees, it must also provide the general notice to each employee by including it in employee handbooks or other written guidance concerning employee benefits or leave rights (if such written materials exist—otherwise, the employer may distribute a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hire).

(Note: According to the DOL, the February 2013 version of the FMLA poster is still valid and can be used to fulfill the posting requirement.)

Employer’s Guide
An employer’s guide was also released, which is designed to provide information about employers’ obligations under the law and the options available to employers in administering FMLA leave. Specific areas covered include:

  • Covered employers under the FMLA and their general notice requirements;
  • What to do when an employee needs FMLA leave;
  • Qualifying reasons for leave;
  • The certification process;
  • Military family leave;
  • What to do during an employee’s FMLA leave; and
  • FMLA prohibitions.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

New California Family Rights Act (CFRA) Takes Effect July 1, 2015

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council recently published new California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations that will take effect July 1, 2015. The new revisions are intended to clarify confusing rules and closely align the regulations with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations, although differences still remain between CFRA and FMLA.Medical-Leave

As a reminder, CFRA applies to employers who do business in California and employ 50 or more part-time or full-time employees (within a 75 mile radius). It provides eligible employees leave rights for the following:

(1) birth of a child for purposes of bonding,

(2) placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care,

(3) for the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent or spouse, and

(4) for the employee’s own serious health condition.

The regulations include wide-ranging substantive changes. For example, the regulations now explain in detail how an employer can violate CFRA by interfering with an employee’s CFRA rights, and clarify that all employees, not merely employees eligible for CFRA, are protected from retaliation for opposing any practice unlawful under CFRA. Some other key provisions of the new regulations include:

  • Covered Employers: The regulations expand the definition of covered employer to include “successors in interest” of a covered employer and joint employers.
  • Definitions: The regulations revise the definitions of serious health condition, inpatient care, eligible employee, and spouse, among others.
  • Key Employee: The regulations revise the provisions regarding the refusal to reinstate a “key employee.”
  • Health Care Coverage: The regulations expand and clarify when and how an employer must maintain group health plan coverage for employees on CFRA leave.
  • Use of Paid Leave: The regulations clarify that an employee receiving any form of disability payments or Paid Family Leave insurance while on CFRA leave is not on an “unpaid leave” and thus cannot be required to use PTO, accrued vacation, or sick leave.
  • Fitness for Duty/Return to Work: The regulations discuss whether, when, and under what circumstance an employer may ask an employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination before returning to work.
  • Disability Leave: The regulations now explicitly state that if an employee has a serious health condition that also qualifies as a disability under California law and cannot return to work at the conclusion of their CFRA leave, the employer has an obligation to engage in the interactive process to determine whether an extension of the leave would qualify as a reasonable accommodation under FEHA.
  • Calculation of Leave and Intermittent Leave: The regulations expand and clarify how to calculate CFRA leave and the use of intermittent leave.
  • Posting and Notice Requirements: Employers must now respond to requests to take CFRA leave within five business days (up from 10 calendar days previously required). Employers must also post notices explaining CFRA in conspicuous places where they can be seen by employees and applicants for employment.

For the convenience of our customers, All in One Poster Company as of today has included the official CFRA notice published by the state late last Friday in its all-in-one state and federal labor law poster. This replaces the previous “Notice B” that applies to employers with 50 or more employees.

You can find more information regarding the new regulations on the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s website, located here.