Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Legislation Proposed to Expand FMLA Rights of Workers

Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) has introduced a bill into the House which seeks to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to protect more employees and to add more types of protected leave.  The proposed bill, HR 3999, would amend the FMLA to:
  • Cover employers with 25 or more employees (current law covers employers with 50 or more employees)
  • Permit employees to take parental involvement leave which is leave to participate in or attend activities sponsored by a school or community organization that is related to a program of the school or organization that the employee's son, daughter, or grandchild attends
  • Permit leave for family wellness which would apply to routine family medical care needs, including medical and dental appointments of an employee's son, daughter, spouse, or grandchild, or to attend to the care needs of elderly relatives, including to nursing homes and group homes
  • For parental or family wellness leave, employees would be entitled to up to four hours of parental involvement or family wellness leave during a 30-day period and up to 24 hours in a 12-month period.  Employees would be able to elect, or the employer could require, substitution of any accrued paid vacation leave, personal leave, or family leave. 
  • Employees would be required to give the employer at least seven days' notice of their intention to take parental involvement or family wellness leave.  When taking family wellness leave, employees would also be required to "make a reasonable effort" to schedule the leave so to avoid unduly disrupting the employer's operations, subject to the health care provider's approval (if applicable).

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