HB Legal: Employment Law 2013
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Q: An employee wants leave to care for injured 20 year old son. Is that request covered by the FMLA?
A: Recent FMLA regulation revisions established that employees can take FMLA leave to care for an adult child if the adult child is “incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability.” The revision clarifies earlier DOL interpretation that allowed FMLA leave only if the child was under 18. Now, parents can take FMLA leave to care for an adult child who is incapable of self-care, even if the illness or injury arose after the child’s 18th birthday.
Q: What documentation can an employer require when an employee asks for leave because of domestic or sexual violence?
A: If the leave request is because of a physical injury, you can ask for certification from the employee’s health care provider. If your employee has taken less than 5 days of leave and is requesting leave for non-medical purposes, you can ask your employee for a signed statement. If your employee is requesting leave for more than 5 days of leave, certification can be requested from the advocate, attorney or agency related to the purpose of the leave.
Q: Sometimes I go online to find information about job applicants. Is that legal?
A: Collecting online information about job applicants is not necessarily illegal, but to protect against legal liability, consider the following tips. Assign the Internet searches to a person who is not involved in the hiring decision. This person can filter out information that the hiring authorities are not legally allowed to consider. Also, be consistent. If your company decides to search online for information, it should do so for all applicants. Finally, respect the privacy of applicants. Limit searches to publicly accessible sites and do not try to bypass privacy settings on social media accounts.
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