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Did You Know . . .

    Department of Labor Extends the Definition of “Loco Parentis” under the FMLA

    The Department of Labor extended the definition of “in loco parentis” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to include same-sex and non-traditional parents. Pursuant to the
    Code of Federal Regulations, those “in loco parentis” include anyone “with day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child, or, in the case of an employee, who had such responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child.” The FMLA now explicitly states that “[a] biological or legal relationship is not necessary.”

    Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Tenure Requirement to Take Maternity Leave

    In June of 2010, the
    Ohio Supreme Court ruled that it is not gender discrimination when an employer requires a minimum tenure in order for employees to take maternity leave. The employer in McFee v. Nursing Care Management of America, Inc., required that all employees be employed for at least 12 months before they could be eligible for maternity leave. In upholding the policy, the Court reasoned that as long as businesses apply their policies evenly, the employers aren't committing discrimination.

    Health Care Reform Requires Employers to Provide Lactation Breaks

    The recently enacted health care reform legislation, known officially as the
    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, amended Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to require lactation break time for nursing mothers. The Department of Labor also issued Fact Sheet #73 for additional guidance. Pursuant to the amendment, employers are required to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Additionally, employers must provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.” The break must be as frequently as needed and for a “reasonable” amount of time. Employers are not required to compensate nursing mothers for lactation breaks under the newly amended FLSA.

    Ohio Military Leave Law Amended to Allow Family Members Two-Weeks of Unpaid Leave

    Ohio amended its
    military leave law in July, 2010, to allow additional leave for employees who are the spouse or parent of a member of the military who is called to active duty, injured, or hospitalized while serving on active duty. The family member may take leave of up to ten days, or eighty hours, whichever is less. To qualify for the leave, the employer must have employed the employee for at least 12 consecutive calendar months and the employee must provide notice at least 14 days prior to taking leave. Under the statute, employers are not required to pay the employee’s salary, but they must continue to provide benefits.

    To discuss these and other employment law issues, contact your employment law attorney at Luper Neidenthal & Logan at 614-221-7663



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