Frank C. Morris, Jr., a Member of the Firm in the Litigation practice and head of the Labor and Employment Practice in the Washington, DC office, was quoted in the Washington Business Journal on changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act taking effect January 16, 2009.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employers with 50 or more employees in a 75-mile radius permit employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during the course of 12 months (provided they have given 12 months of service and worked 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months) in order to get well, have or adopt a baby, or care of a sick family member.
The changes to the law, the first since it was enacted in 1993, cover a range of gray areas that have emerged, such as the scope of a “serious health condition” and the time frames for granting leave.
In the article, “The Signs, They Are A Changin’,” Morris pointed out that the FMLA “has been a source of a great deal of difficulty for employees to know what their rights were and for employers to administer.”
He also said the new regulations fall short in certain areas such as intermittent leave, when an employee seeks time off periodically rather than at one time, describing it as “only partly successful” in assisting employers to manage the problems and abuses arising under the intermittent leave provision.
Morris is co-chair of the Firm’s Disability Law Group.