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Matrix offers comprehensive leave management services, including administration of company leave policies such as maternity and parental leaves paid and unpaid. For more information contact your account manager or your sales representative, or send an email to ping matrixcos. She suffered from severe anxiety and eosinophilic esophagitis. These conditions limited her ability to perform certain life activities such as eating, sleeping, and engaging in social interactions.

MNMC asked the doctor to identify which of the eight contraindications listed by the vaccine manufacturer applied to Aleka to exempt her from receiving it.

The doctor responded that Aleka had severe anxiety about some of the potential side effects, especially in light of her history of allergies and eosinophilic esophagitis. MNMC sent a letter to Aleka stating that the information provided by the doctor was insufficient to excuse her from the vaccine and setting a new deadline for her to receive it.

Aleka suggested she be allowed to wear a mask at work as she alleged other nurses were allowed to do to accommodate their refusals to receive the flu vaccine.

Aleka did not receive the vaccine by the new deadline and was terminated by MNMC. Aleka sued, asserting a claim for failure to accommodate, among others. As to the first issue, the court noted that an employer is not required to engage in the interactive process to identify an accommodation unless it is on notice of a disability and request for accommodation, but the threshold for adequate notice is fairly low.

Oh, that interactive process. On the second issue, the court recognized that both the employer and the employee bear responsibility for identifying a reasonable accommodation. A party who fails to communicate, either by initiation or response, may be acting in bad faith. This was sufficient to raise the inference that MNMC had failed to engage properly in the interactive process and deprived Aleka of the individualized consideration to which she was entitled under the ADA.

Pings for Employers This case is in early stages yet and the employer may still prevail, but more a more thoughtful and involved approach might have saved MNMC a lawsuit. Be sure to engage in the interactive process. And maybe, in litigation, they will be able to show facts that justified differing treatment of Aleka.

But how much better to allow her to wear a mask and avoid a lawsuit, or discuss with her their objections and avoid a lawsuit? We will initiate an ADA claim for your employee, conduct the medical intake and analysis if needed, assist in identifying reasonable accommodations, document the process, and more.

Contact Matrix at ping matrixcos. The law does not enact a PFL law but requires the state Legislative Reference Bureau to conduct an analysis to assist the legislature in determining the most appropriate framework or model for the establishment of paid family leave for the state. The analysis will include a comparative analysis of other state paid leave models, including temporary disability insurance models.

Factors to be considered include scope of coverage; gender equity; ease of making applications or claims; speed of benefit payment; and financial sustainability.

The analysis will also assess cost and other impacts on employers and employees. Matrix provides leave, disability, and accommodation management services to employers seeking a comprehensive and compliant solution to these complex employer obligations. We monitor the many leave laws being passed around the country and specialize in understanding how they work together.

For leave management and accommodation assistance, contact us at ping matrixcos. This topic was originally addressed in this blog on July 12, That post sparked some questions about the California Paid Family Leave program that make it appropriate to issue this revised article.

The content of the original post was accurate but is now supplemented with additional information in this version, specifically relating to the two weeks of PTO an employer can require an employee to use before taking California PFL. CA A The state family temporary disability insurance program, also known as the paid family leave program, provides wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement of that child.

Prior to January 1, , California imposed a 7-day waiting period before employees could begin receiving benefits for a covered absence and the employer could apply that vacation pay to cover the waiting period.

The 7-day waiting period for these benefits was eliminated as of January 1, , by a prior law. This new California law now eliminates the application of vacation leave to the waiting period, consistent with the removal of the 7-day waiting period for these benefits on and after January 1, Technically the effective date is January 1, , but as there has been no waiting period since January 1, , there has been nothing to which to apply that accrued vacation.

Employers are still able to require employees to use up to two weeks of accrued vacation or PTO, if available, prior to receipt of PFL benefits. The use of such accrued paid time off is in addition to the 6 weeks of state or voluntary plan paid family leave benefits, which will follow the 2 weeks of PTO.

Matrix is a leading provider of services for administering California State Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave voluntary programs. Ping us for more information at ping matrixcos. The employer will have to prove in a jury trial that its assertion was not a pretext for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. Reasonable means that, on its face, the accommodation is plausible and feasible. Jana Churchwell worked for the City of Concord, North Carolina, as a project engineer from until her termination in July It takes lawsuits quite a while to wind their way through the court system!

Throughout her employment Jana suffered from chronic autoimmune urticaria and in was also diagnosed with IBS and chronic migraine headaches. On June 16 Jana requested accommodations consisting of leaving the office or working from home when symptoms occurred, leaving for medical appointments, and avoiding extreme temperatures. However, her doctor stated that no accommodation would enable Jana to work when she was suffering from a migraine and that she might need leave of 1 day per every 2 weeks or less.

The next day she also requested medical leave for 30 days as an accommodation, which would have provided time off until July So far, it sounds like the City made a valid undue hardship argument granting Jana more leave would result in significant difficulty in operating the Engineering Department and jeopardize its productivity.

But certain key facts doomed this argument: Finally, with changes in treatment Jana would have been able to return to work at the end of the requested day leave which was, after all, only about 10 days from the date of her termination with the other accommodations which the City had granted.

Now the fate of both Jana and the City is in the hands of a jury. If you have a valid undue hardship reason for denying an accommodation, be sure your subsequent actions support that argument. In the Churchwell case, the City articulated a very good argument but then lived with the alleged undue hardship for months and months after Jana could have returned to work. An undue hardship defense is difficult to establish.

Monetary consideration alone will rarely win the day. Rather, it takes a showing of significant operational difficulty or expense. Keep records of your analysis and the factors considered. According to the EEOC, generalized conclusions will not suffice to support a claim of undue hardship. Instead, undue hardship must be based on an individualized assessment of current circumstances that show that a specific reasonable accommodation would cause significant difficulty or expense.

Be sure to engage further in the interactive process to see if there is an alternative that will be reasonable and effective before closing the door on the employee. For more information, including the types of factors you should consider to develop an undue hardship argument, Matrix can help! The paid leave provisions are part of a so-called Grand Bargain between the state legislature and voters that was designed to keep several voter initiatives off the November ballot.

Here are some key provisions: The benefits will be funded at an initial rate of 0. Employers and employees must begin making premium contributions July 1, Paid leave benefits available. Paid leave benefits for all leave reasons except family member serious health condition begin on January 1, Paid leave benefits to care for a family member with a serious health condition begin on July 1, Leave reasons mirror those of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act which will run concurrently in most cases: Leave durations in a month period are up to: Watch this space for a more detailed summary of the new law in the next day or two.

You can check out our prior summaries about Washington State here and here. June 25, 0 Many of you know my colleague, Gail Cohen, an attorney who works closely with me at Matrix and assists our clients, consultants, and others with ADA and leave of absence issues.

Gail recently participated in a panel presentation on the ADA specifically accommodations and the interactive process at an EEOC-hosted conference. Here is a post from Gail, sharing her presentation and what she learned at the conference. Take a look for a primer on reasonable accommodation and the interactive process these are the kinds of issues we at Matrix help our clients with on a daily basis. At the meeting the EEOC addressed some of its current priorities.

Pregnancy discrimination and accommodations. A review of the cases filed by the EEOC since then show that this continues to be a priority. Several states have followed suit by passing mandatory pregnancy accommodation and nondiscrimination laws. In addition, the EEOC emphasized pre-employment physicals and medical inquiries, as well as maintaining the confidentiality of employee medical information.

Did you know that the failure to maintain confidentiality is an independent violation of the ADA? The Importance of mentoring. Another EEOC Priority is a focus on staffing companies, who the EEOC believes do not understand their obligations to comply with the laws they enforce, particularly in connection with their use of pre-employment testing.

Employers need to scrutinize contracts with staffing and temp agencies closely to ensure that legal and compliance responsibilities properly lie with each party. Medical inquiries can be tricky under the ADA. So can knowing how to deal with a challenging accommodation request. To learn more, contact your account manager or send us a message at ping matrixcos.

Offering tax credits to encourage paid leaves of absence is cropping up more often recently. The federal government included a tax incentive in the December Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for employers providing from 2 to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for reasons covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Our blog post on this federal tax incentive can be found here. Some states, such as Connecticut and Utah, have tried to follow the same path this year, introducing tax incentive bills rather than full-fledged paid family and medical leave laws; but so far none has passed except the limited-purpose law just enacted in Colorado.

Colorado has passed a law creating a state tax credit for employers who voluntarily provide a paid leave of absence for an employee to serve as an organ donor. The tax credit is limited to leaves of absence up to 10 working days or the hourly equivalent. The tax credit does not apply to any period during which the employee uses other paid leave already offered by the employer such as vacation, paid time off, or sick days.

Although not addressed directly, this implies that the employer can and should require medical documentation from the employee as a condition of receiving the paid leave of absence. The law will go into effect for leaves of absence on or after January 1, , and sunsets on December 31, You can view the full text here.

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