Articles Tagged with Paid Leave

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides eligible employees with twelve workweeks of unpaid leave  in connection with the birth or adoption of a child, caring for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, the employee’s own serious health condition, and exigencies relating to an employee’s or a family member’s service in the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces.  Among the FMLA’s protections is an eligible employee’s entitlement to be protected from interference and retaliation by an “employer” for the exercise of FMLA rights.

Until just last week, it was unclear in the Second Circuit (New York, Connecticut and Vermont) whether an individual supervisor or other management official could be sued under the FMLA as an “employer” for interference and retaliation.  On March 17, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Grazadio v. Culinary Institute of America, No. 15-888-cv, ruled that an individual management employee could be considered an employer under the FMLA and held  liable for violating an employee’s FMLA rights.

In Graziadio, the plaintiff had sought to take two separate leaves relating to her childrens’ serious health conditions.  The first approved leave was taken in connection with her son’s diabetes, and the second leave was sought and taken about a week after she returned to work as a result of her other son having suffered a leg fracture, necessitating surgery.  The plaintiff had promptly informed her supervisor that she would need to take an immediate second leave and that she would return approximately 10 days later “at least part time.”  Ultimately, the plaintiff sought approval to return to work from this second leave on a reduced schedule and asked whether the employer needed “any further documentation” from her concerning the leave that she had taken.

Last month, the New York City Council voted in favor of legislation that would require some employers to provide paid sick days to their employees. Excluded from the law’s coverage are employers in the manufacturing industry. Also, some employers would only be required to provide unpaid sick leave. Depending upon the New York City economy, the law would take effect on April 1, 2014 for those employers that employ at least 20 employees, and October 15, 2015, for employers with less than 20 employees but at least 15 employees. Employers who employ at least 1 worker would be required to provide unpaid sick leave effective April 1, 2014 and paid leave effective October 15, 2015.

Under the New York law, employees, other than domestic workers, would accrue 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum paid sick time accrual of 40 hours in a consecutive 12 month period.

Employers that already provide paid sick time equivalent to that required by the legislation, in the form of personal days and vacation, will not be required to provide additional days under the law as long as the paid time policy covers the same reasons for leave set forth in the law. The law will also prohibit retaliation against employees for exercising their rights under the law.