One Leave Law Does Not Fit All

 The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 applies throughout the U.S. to employers and employees who meet its specific requirements. In recent years, some states have enacted their own leave laws which differ from FMLA and from each other.

Size matters. Don’t assume that you’re off the hook just because your resort or enterprise falls below FMLA’s threshold. Check to see if your state has passed a leave law that may apply to you.

Making that determination grows exponentially more complex with every additional state that has its own discrete leave provisions. If you’re in a state that has passed a leave law, you must sort out and compare the relevant federal and state provisions to determine which (if any) should apply in a given situation.

Further adding to the complexity, some employers offer their own internal leave plans, which typically must meet or exceed FMLA and the requirements of relevant states’ plans.

To navigate this maze, first review the provisions of FMLA, then compare them with each of the states in which you have a presence, and any internal leave provisions.  Crucial questions to ask include:

— Whether your resort or enterprise is a covered employer. For FMLA, that means 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Some states have a lower coverage threshold.

— Whether your employees who want to take FMLA leave are eligible to do so.

— The length of FMLA leave time to which an eligible employee is entitled.

— The notice requirements for requesting a leave.

— Certification by a health-care provider.

— Job restoration and health benefits.

A recent article in Risk & Insurance

suggests that employers with exposure to multiple leave laws and plans may want to hire a third-party administrator to manage employees’ leaves.

By Darren Wheeling August 13, 2019 24 Comments