The Family and Medical Leave Act sets regulations for job-protected leave related to family and medical reasons. FMLA applies to organizations with 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of the employee’s worksite (“Employment Laws,” n.d., para. 6). Employees who have been with their current employer for 12 months and who have worked 1250 hours of service in the previous 12 months are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave through FMLA (“Eligibility Requirements,” Revised 2013). FMLA covers the following leave reasons: The birth of a child, or the placement of an adopted or foster child.
A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their job. To care for a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition. A “qualifying exigency” arising out of a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty in the armed forced.
To care for a covered family member who has suffered an injury or illness while on active duty.
Employees must be restored to their position or equivalent position when returning from leave (“Benefits and Protections,” Revised 2013). The use of accrued paid leave can be determined by individual organizations, but should be documented in a policy. It is important for an organization to create a leave policy that complies with FMLA and be consistent when applying the policy. The Family and Medical Leave Act can provide stability to employees, but can be tricky to administer.
Company X needs to consider a few factors to ensure FMLA compliance. Paternal leave is included under FMLA, so Company X was in compliance when they granted leave to Employee A (assuming the employee has also worked a minimum of 1250 hours). Employee A was eligible for 12 weeks of leave, but voluntarily decided to return early. FMLA does not require Company X to pay Employee A while on leave, denying that request was also in compliance with the law. Company X met the FMLA requirements, allowing Employee A to return to the same position with the same rate of pay. My conclusion is that Company X has not violated FMLA requirements. I would recommend Company X create a policy that documents FMLA procedures and clarifies what to expect while on leave (salary and benefits). Situation B
As Human Resources professionals, it is key to be mindful of protected job classes, particularly age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was put in place to protect workers over 40 years of age. The ADEA applies to employers with more than 20 employees and applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments and training (“Facts About Age Discrimination,” Revised 2008). Since the ADEA applies to the hiring process as well as the term of employment, employers are not allowed to ask for date of birth in any pre-hire process. There are a couple of exceptions to the law. Employees may waive their right to the act as long as the ADEA guidelines are met.
In certain situations, high level executives may be asked to retire at 65 and for jobs with bona fide occupational qualifications employers may discriminate based on age (“Exceptions to the ADEA,” 2007). An example of this would be a modeling agency hiring for an ad that promotes children’s clothing. Based off of the information provided, Company X is in clear violation of the ADEA. Employee B is over 40 and therefore in a protected job class. Unless they have reason to justify their decision, employee B has a clear case for discrimination. Since employee B has higher performance and longer tenure, the promotion should have been granted. My recommendation to Company X is to create a documented policy the outlines what factors are used in promotions and rank employees accordingly. In my opinion, performance should always be first. Other factors to consider could be attendance/accountability, education and seniority. If company X followed this policy, there would be no question of age discrimination. Situation C
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits job discrimination against people with disabilities. The ADA applies to all terms of recruitment and employment for employers with 15 or more employees (“ADA Questions and Answers,” (Revised 2009). Under the ADA, it is illegal to discriminate against qualified individuals and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to ensure individuals with disabilities can perform the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the work environment that would allow someone the ability to do their job (“ADA Questions and Answers,” (Revised 2009). Reasonable accommodations may not bring undue hardship to an employer or require significant difficulty or expense. When complying with the ADA, job descriptions will help provide an outline of essentials functions of a job.
In order to know if someone is able to perform the essential functions, a job description must be documented. Assuming that Applicant C was the most qualified candidate, Company X would be in violation of the ADA for denying employment. Since Applicant C is able to perform the essential functions of the position with one modification to the office, it would be discriminatory to disqualify the candidate. An additional elevator keypad would not cause operational harm to the organization and cannot be considered undue hardship. My recommendation to Company X would be to make the necessary adjustments and ultimately, hire the best candidate for the job.
ADA Questions and Answers. (Revised 2009). American with Disabilities online. Retrieved May 27, 2014 from http://www.ada.gov/q&aeng02.htm Benefits and Protections. (Revised 2013). United States Department of Labor online. Retrieved May 27, 2014 from http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaen.pdf Eligibility Requirements. (Revised 2013). United States Department of Labor online. Retrieved May 27, 2014 from http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/fmlaen.pdf Employment Laws. (n.d.). United states Department of Labor online. Retrieved May 27, 2014 from http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/employ.htm Exceptions to the ADEA. (2007). Human Resources BLOG. Retrieved on May 27, 2014 from http://www.humanresourceblog.com/2007/09/10/exceptions-to-the-adea/ Facts About Age Discrimination. (Revised 2008). EEOC online. Retrieved May 27, 2014 from http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/age.html