Week In Review

May 02, 2016

New FMLA Notice Poster
The Department of Labor (DOL) released a new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster on April 25. The new poster offers little in the way of substantive changes. The new poster has been reorganized for clarity. According to Helen Applewhaite, DOL’s Branch Chief for FMLA, “employers can still use the current poster if they so choose.”

Hospital Facing Suit over Imposing Deadline for Requesting Religious Exemption from Vaccination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against a hospital system in North Carolina. The EEOC claims the employer violated Title VII by failing to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs and firing them because of their religion. Employer requires employees to receive a flu vaccination annually, not later than December 31. While an employee may request an exemption to the vaccination requirement based on religious beliefs, Employer requires that the request be made by September 1 or it may be denied. Three named employees, as well as others, requested religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement because of their various sincerely held religious beliefs after the deadline. The requests were denied and Employer terminated those employees. In support of the filing of suit against Employer, the EEOC said: “An arbitrary deadline does not protect an employer from its obligation to provide a religious accommodation. An employer must consider, at the time it receives a request for a religious accommodation, whether the request can be granted without undue burden.”

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