Week In Review

November 02, 2015

DOL to begin discretionary enforcement of FLSA home care rule
The Department of Labor (DOL) is getting ready to begin enforcement of its final home care rule. That rule extends minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. The DOL reiterated that it will not bring any enforcement actions against employers for FLSA obligations arising under the amendments to its domestic service regulations until November 12, 2015. From that date through December 31, 2015, the agency will exercise prosecutorial discretion in enforcement under its previously announced time-limited non-enforcement policy.

Employee not eligible for FMLA may sue employer with inadequate FMLA language in employee handbook
A federal appellate court recently determined that statements in an employee handbook have given an employee the right to sue his employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), even though he was ineligible for FMLA protections. The employee handbook stated that “Employees covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act are employees who have worked for the [Employer] and accumulated 1,250 work hours in the previous 12 months.” The policy did not say anything about the additional requirement that there be at least 50 employees at or within 75 miles of the employee’s workplace. When the employee was terminated for late work and other performance problems, he filed a lawsuit under the FMLA. While the employee was ineligible for FMLA leave because the employer did not have 50 employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee’s workplace, the court concluded that the employer lost the ability to challenge the employee’s eligibility for FMLA because it did not include this limitation in its employee handbook.

EEOC files suit against employer that forced a cancer-stricken employee to go on leave
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against A Texas manufacturer for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to let a capable cancer-stricken employee return to work and then fired him due to his disability. The employee worked as a production operator. The employee suffered from prostate cancer, a physical impairment for which he underwent surgery. After a period of leave, the employee’s physician determined that the employee was capable of safely returning to his job, but the employer refused to let him to return to work and instead forced him to take extended leave. The employer eventually terminated the employee for exceeding company leave limitations.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com