Jeff Nowak

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It’s the end of the year, which means bonus time. Or perhaps instead you want to offer a pay incentive to employees to improve attendance or production?  Take, for instance, a point-based attendance bonus policy in which employees are assessed points for every tardiness or absence (even for FMLA or ADA-covered leave), which, in turn, disqualifies an employee from receiving the incentive. In these situations, can an employer disqualify an employee from the bonus or…
When: Wednesday, December 12 (12:00 – 1:15 p.m. central time) Online registration: Click Here Over the past year alone, employers have been forced to defend FMLA and ADA lawsuits due simply to an inappropriate comment from a manager after an employee requests time off or an accommodation in the workplace. A snide comment about an employee in an email . . . Discussing an employee’s medical condition with others in a meeting . . . Telling…
Not sure where you stand on this, but I’m always game for a good employer smack down on FMLA abuse. This smack down comes courtesy of the City of Chicago. You know, the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City (to no one), the Windy City [little known fact: the nickname “Windy City” comes not from the cold winds that blow off Lake Michigan but from the City’s “windy” politicians. No joke.]. I digress. Picture…
Q: We have an employee who recently had a child placed with her for foster care. (It is her niece.) She wants to take eight weeks of FMLA leave to bond with the foster child, but wants to know if she can take an additional eight weeks of FMLA leave when she adopts the child. She anticipates that the adoption likely will occur sometime next year. A. My head is spinning, as there are a…
I conducted FMLA training this week for a client making fairly significant changes to the manner it administers FMLA leave. They not only are educating managers about their role and responsibilities under the FMLA, but empowering them to play a key role in reducing FMLA abuse. My client also is making one key change (among others) as part of their FMLA intake process: it’s requiring employees to make two calls whenever they want to request…
File this in the “Managers really can be idiots” folder. Kameisha applied for a job at Jersey Mike’s Subs (which by the way, makes an incredible #13 Original Italian sub). At the time she interviewed for a position, Kameisha was four months pregnant. Fearing she would not get the job if she revealed her pregnancy, Kameisha chose not to inform the manager, Marcos, of her exciting personal news during the interview. As the story goes, she…
Those sneaky little rascals! While the rest of us were enjoying our Labor Day holiday, those crazy kids over at the Department of Labor were still working away. Bless their little hearts! This time, they were busy posting new model FMLA notices and medical certification forms. Expiration: August 31, 2021. No more month-to-month extensions or lost sleep over when the long-awaited forms would be released. Now, we can rest easy through summer 2021. Relief. That…
Parental leave policies are on the rise. Maternity. Paternity. Caregiver. You name it. I am drafting more of these policies than ever before. So, you can imagine my interest when, last year, the EEOC sued skin care/fragrance behemoth Estée Lauder, claiming that its parental leave policies discriminated against men. According to the EEOC at the time, Estée Lauder provided eligible new mothers six weeks of paid parental leave for child bonding (in addition to leave…
It’s 82° and sunny today in Chicago. I’ve got my feet up and I’m feeling the warmth of the summer sun on my face. We live for these days here, since in the blink of an eye, it will be December, 20° and snowing. When it’s 82/sunny outside and we’re headed toward a weekend, employees find it hard to work. With the increase in summertime temps comes an increase in FMLA abuse.  Heck, we cynics…
The DOL’s model FMLA forms and notices are about to turn into the proverbial pumpkin come midnight this Friday, June 1, 2018. So, what is an employer to do? Besides panic, of course? What’s Going on and Why Do These Forms Expire Anyway? Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the DOL is required to submit its FMLA forms every three years to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, so that…