Here’s a roundup of experts in employment law weighing in on key FMLA issues and case law over the first half of the year.
Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples
Jeff Nowak of FMLA Insights offers a good overview and analysis:
“The Department of Labor announced today [June 20] a proposed rule that would allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. As expected, the DOL has adopted a “state of celebration” rule, in which a spousal status for purposes of FMLA is determined not on the state in which the employee currently resides (as currently stated in the FMLA regulations), but based on the law of the state where the employee was married. For example, if the employee was married in New York, but now resides with his same-sex spouse in Indiana, the employee will enjoy FMLA rights to care for his spouse as if he had resided in New York.”
Additional coverage:
DOL Issues Notice of Proposed FMLA Rule that Offers Equal Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses
Marilyn Clark and Jessie E.R. Mischke in JDSupra Business Advisor
Department of Labor (DOL) Proposes New Meaning for “Spouse” for FMLA Purposes
Amy D. Cubbage in The National Law Review
News & Resources
Understanding FMLA Basics
6 Steps You Should Take to Prepare for DOL On-site Visits
ABA’s Summary of 2013 FMLA Cases a Critical Resource for Employers, Attorneys
EEOC Commissioner Gives Insight into Handling Employee Leaves of Absence After FMLA is Exhausted
FMLA: Violating work restrictions, ignoring attendance policy cost employer a win
FMLA FAQ: Am I Required to Pay My Employee for Holidays Occurring During FMLA Leave?
Firing an employee just before they’re FMLA-eligible
What happened in Vegas: an FMLA case
Failure to Notify of a Return date
No return date, no problem: Seventh Circuit reverses FMLA summary judgment for employer
“On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an employee did not forfeit her right to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for her seriously ill adult daughter by failing to provide her employer with an anticipated date of return.”
Did a Court Just Allow an Employee FMLA Leave to Care for Her Grandchild?
The importance of communication during FMLA leave
FMLA Leave Requests: Do Employees Need to Specify the Expected Duration of Leave?
FMLA Leave – Follow Up on Expected Return to Work
Adult Child Care & The FMLA
FMLA: caring for an adult child
“Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides eligible employees with time off in order to care for adult children who are incapable of self-care. Gienapp v. Harbor Crest and Myra Chattic, No. 14-1053, June 24, 2014.
Her employer argued that the daughter did not qualify as a “daughter” under the regulations because she was married and because Gienapp was no longer “standing in loco parentis.” The Court rejected this argument and found that the definition of “daughter” in the regulations was met because she was over 18 years of age and incapable of self-care because of a physical disability.”
DOL Guidance: Clarification of the definition of “son or daughter” under Section 101(12) of the Family and Medical Leave Act as it applies to an individual 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
Real-World Examples: FMLA with Children 18 and Above
The 5 Hurdles—FMLA Leave for Children 18 and Older


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