Accommodations and Leave Law

Happy Mother’s Day! 

May 13 is Mother’s Day in the US, Australia and Canada. As such, it feels apropos to recognize the latest initiatives in the US and around the world aimed at increasing opportunities at work for working mothers (and caregivers more generally). Government-mandated maternity, paternity and parental leave and benefits, as well as robust childcare and eldercare infrastructure are among the most effective public policy investments for promoting gender parity in the workforce. As employers strive to retain working parents and increase female representation in corporate leadership roles, this article highlights how parental leave rights and related benefits are changing to reduce the burden of work-family conflicts on women and encourage men (and even grandparents!) to avail themselves of paternity leave and/or parental leave.

While the intended effects of new legislation in this area are of course positive, it can be challenging for US and multinational employers to navigate the patchwork of statutory requirements that offer varying entitlements based on differing circumstances. Even beyond managing simple compliance, many multinational employers also feel the pressure to stay competitive in the war for talent and to create human resources policies that can be managed centrally in a streamlined fashion, while also locally compliant in jurisdictions outside of the US.

Please click HERE to read our article. We focus on recent entitlements and related benefits made available to employees who manage caregiving responsibilities outside of work and share the updates multinationals need to know.

For more details, please contact your Baker McKenzie lawyer.

We put our heads together to come up with some predictions for 2018.

Read the Horizon Scanner for more details but, in a nutshell, we predict:

  1. Multiplying statutory obligations aimed at closing the gender pay gap
  2. A push to become data-privacy compliant before GDPR is effective May 25, 2018
  3. Growing paid leave benefits for families around the globe
  4. A renewed focus to protect company assets globally
  5. Consistent deal growth with a particular bent towards “insourcing” arrangements

Click HERE to get the full picture!

On Wednesday, December 13, Barbara Gressel, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) provided the Chicago Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Committee with an informative presentation about the City of Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (in effect since July 1, 2017).

Ms. Gressel, who leads the Department’s compliance and enforcement efforts, reviewed the Ordinance’s accrual and carry over rules, as well as the provisions concerning usage caps. The remainder of her presentation involved how the Department will investigate charges, and the administrative process for formally enforcing the ordinance. Here are our takeaways:

Department Investigations Initiated by Employee Complaint

  • Enforcement begins with the filing of a complaint by an employee. Employees may obtain a copy of a blank complaint by visiting the Department’s webpage. The charge must be filled out by hand, or on a typewriter. The complete complaint can be filed by facsimile (fax) or in person.
  • The Department intends to investigate each facially valid complaint on a class-wide basis. It reasons that if one employee is not receiving proper payment, accrual, carryover etc., no employee is. The request for information will be by administrative subpoena.
  • At least initially, the Department intends to attempt to resolve complaints informally. Employers who refuse to meet their obligations during this initial period will be prosecuted for a ordinance violation. Similarly, after the initial familiarization period (expected to last 18-24 months), the Department will use its formal ordinance enforcement process whenever it determines to allege a violation has occurred.

Continue Reading Chicago’s New Sick Leave Ordinance May Leave Some Employers Feeling Ill

Last Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) does not require employers to provide additional unpaid leave as an accommodation to employees who have expended their Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave. Although the Seventh Circuit’s ruling upheld its prior decision in Byrne v. Avon Productions Inc., the decision is significant because it directly contradicts the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)’s position that granting additional, long-term unpaid leave to employees is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds that the ADA Does Not Require Additional Unpaid Leave After FMLA Leave Is Exhausted

While no one knows exactly how Donald Trump’s election as President will impact labor and employment laws in the country, it is a safe bet that there will be changes. Because Trump was virtually silent on the campaign trail regarding the specifics of any employment law policies, we are left to speculate on any upcoming changes.  We provide a brief overview of our best educated guesses on what changes could be in store given the election results.  Given Trump’s position on government enforcement and his pro-business stance, there is an expectation of changes to several employment-related laws. Continue Reading What Trump’s Election Means for Employment Laws

November 8 is shaping up to have one of the largest voter turnouts in history.  As such, Texas employers should ensure they comply with election voting laws as they relate to employees.  Chapter 276 of the Texas Election Code sets certain requirements for employers.  Below are some do’s and don’ts for employers with voting employees: Continue Reading Voting Laws – Do’s and Don’ts for Texas Employers

Leave accommodations can be a complicated issue for a company’s human resources and legal teams.  The EEOC, however, recently issued guidance discussing leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The guidance serves as a good reference on the EEOC’s stance on several complex accommodation issues, and clarifies the EEOC’s views on equal access to leave, granting additional unpaid leave as an accommodation, and maximum leave policies.  In light of the recent guidance, now is a good time to review your company policies. Continue Reading Are Your Leave Policies Sufficient? EEOC Issues Guidance on Leave as an ADA Accommodation

The dog days of summer are here, but the Department of Labor has shown no signs of slowing down. In June, the DOL rolled out revisions to its official Family and Medical Leave Act forms. While the revisions may seem minor at first glance, they could have a large impact on how medical information is shared between employers, employees and health care providers. Continue Reading FMLA Forms Incorporate GINA Reforms