Beginning on March 27, 2015, a big change in the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”) will protect Ohio employees in same-sex marriages for the first time. On that day, a new regulation issued by the Department of Labor in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor will change the FMLA definition of “spouse” to include lawfully married same-sex spouses. As a result, Ohio employees in same-sex marriages entered into in other States will finally be afforded the same protections granted to other married couples under the FMLA. [Read more…]
Happy Mother’s Day. In honor of all the Cleveland moms out there, this week’s blog covers some of the common employment laws that protect working moms and pregnant employees in Ohio workplaces. [Read more…]
A Bill to expand coverage of the Family and Medical Leave Act was recently introduced in Congress. Currently, the FMLA protects employees only if their employers have fifty or more employees within seventy-five miles of the workplace. If it passes, the proposed Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act of 2014 would, among other things, lower that coverage threshold to employers with twenty-five or more employees, expanding the FMLA’s protections for many employees. [Read more…]
Valentine’s Day is coming and love is in the air—or is it the flu? It’s probably a little bit of both. But for now, let’s assume it’s love. When love finds its way into the workplace, there are several employment law issues about which Cleveland area employees should be aware. [Read more…]
Last night, my four-month-old little boy came down with a cold. I was up with him all night – all night. It’s just a minor cold though. He’s otherwise very healthy. Having handled so many Cleveland-area employment discrimination cases, I know not every working parent is so lucky when it comes to the health of their children.
Consider your typical employee in, say, Lorain County. Based on recent data, she probably works either in manufacturing, the healthcare field, or for a local government. She may or may not be in a union, and has only a few days of annual sick leave. If her child has a serious medical issue, she faces a terrible dilemma: she needs to miss work to care for her child, but she risks getting fired if she does. Fortunately, Ohio and federal law provide some protections for employees facing this difficult situation. [Read more…]
In our employment law cases involving pregnancy, it’s usually the mother who has been the victim of discrimination. But mothers aren’t the only ones entitled to job protection when there is a baby on the way. Ohio and federal employment laws, in particular the Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”), protect dads in certain cases too. [Read more…]
In a landmark civil rights case, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Besides having tremendous symbolic significance as a victory for liberty and equality, the case will have a major impact on various employment laws, particularly the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) . . . just not in Ohio.
The terms “marriage” and “spouse” appear in approximately 1,000 different federal laws, affecting everything from criminal prosecutions to taxes to the workplace. Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA specified that, for purposes of all federal laws, “marriage” and “spouse” mean only opposite-sex couples. Same-sex couples were specifically excluded, with Congress explicitly stating its “moral disapproval of homosexuality.” In today’s decision, United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down this section of DOMA. The Court explained that DOMA’s denial of federal benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples was “designed to injure” those couples, and thus deprived them of their rights to “liberty” and “equal protection” of law guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments respectively. [Read more…]
This month, the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) celebrates its 20th anniversary. Thanks to the FMLA, countless men and women have not had to make the choice between losing their jobs and attending to their families’ medical needs or their own. Unfortunately for many employees however, the FMLA does not cover everyone. And sometimes, a covered employee may exhaust his or her protected leave. In either case, other employment laws might provide additional job protection. [Read more…]