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Monthly Archives: November 2010

New Case Interpretation Purports to Expand Employee Coverage Under Connecticut FMLA

In a case of first impression, a Connecticut Superior Court has held that Connecticut’s Family and Medical Leave Act (“CFMLA”) applies to Connecticut employers with 75 or more employees anywhere in the nation, not just in Connecticut.

The court ruled that in determining whether an employer satisfies the CFMLA’s 75-employee threshold, the Department of Labor must consider the employer’s entire workforce—including all the employer’s out-of-state employees with no connection to Connecticut. The court reversed the Connecticut Department of Labor’s historical view that the CFMLA applied only to employers that employed 75 or more employees within the geographical boundaries of the state.

This decision is important because it may extend CFMLA obligations to employers that were previously not subject to either the Connecticut or federal FMLA. An employer with operations in Connecticut but fewer than 75 employees within the state will have to extend CFMLA coverage to its Connecticut employees if it has a total of 75 employees in any geographic location or state.

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor this case has been appealed but, as always, that will take time. In the meantime, the Connecticut DOL has stated that it will put on hold any charges filed with the state in which the charging party’s eligibility for CFMLA coverage turns on the application or non-application of this case.

Velez v. Mayfield et al., Superior Court, Judicial District of New Britain, Docket No. CV 08 4017925S (May 14, 2010, Cohn, J.).

For a more detailed discussion of the case and its possible ramifications to employers, you can visit the Connecticut Employment Law Blog.

Questions about your FMLA program? Contact Reed Group.

Reed Group to Provide NY Treatment Guidelines Navigation Software for Use by New York State Workers’ Compensation Board Personnel

We are pleased to announce today that Reed Group has entered into an agreement to provide our MDGuidelines New York Medical Treatment Guidelines navigation software to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

The software will be used by New York WCB personnel as they implement the recently announced New York State Workers’ Compensation Treatment Guidelines.

The software will include a digital “crosswalk” that will associate ICD and CPT codes to the language in the Guidelines and further link the CPT codes to the New York State Fee Schedule.

Although the Board is not mandating or formally endorsing the use of Reed Group’s software by other stakeholders, Reed Group is making the software commercially available for use as a common platform to increase efficiencies and expedite communications between stakeholders while decreasing transactional processes and associated costs.

As we’re sure you know, the key to rapid and successful adoption of state guidelines is to make it easy to incorporate them into everyone’s daily workflow. Our new software does exactly that, and we’re pleased to provide the option of a common platform that all New York workers’ compensation stakeholders can use.

Stakeholders who may benefit from the software include insurance carriers, third party administrators, employers, medical providers who treat New York workers’ compensation patients, government agencies and attorneys.

The New York Treatment Guidelines will go into effect on December 1, 2010. More information on the Guidelines and on free training to help stakeholders learn the new forms and procedures is available at the New York WCB website.

More Information

For further information or a demonstration of the MDGuidelines New York Medical Treatment Guidelines tools, email Reed Group’s Keith Mayers (or phone 800-347-7443). Or email Reed Group’s Ken Eichler (or phone 917-270-3921) .

Connecticut Revises Crime Victims Leave Law

Connecticut has an existing law that provides leave for employees who are victims of certain crimes.

The law has now been expanded, effective October 1, 2010, to provide additional rights for employees who are victims of family violence. “Family violence” is defined as an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, or a threatened act of such violence, between family or household members.

This portion of the law applies to employers with three or more employees. Victims of family violence are allowed up to 12 days of leave for the following reasons:

• To seek medical care or psychological or other counseling;
• To obtain services from a victim services organization;
• To relocate due to family violence; or
• To participate in any civil or criminal proceeding related to or resulting from the family violence.

All employees are eligible for the leave, which may be paid or unpaid. The employee may use any available paid time off. The employee must provide notice of the need for leave at least seven days in advance, or as soon as practicable. The employer may require the employee to provide specified types of documentation to support the leave.

Click for more information.

Ohio Enacts New Military Families Leave

Ohio has enacted a statute, effective July 2, 2010, providing protected unpaid leave for certain family members of military service members.

Under the act, limited family leave is available when a service member has been called to active duty for more than 30 days or is injured, wounded, or hospitalized while on active duty.

Key provisions include:

  1. The Act applies to employers with 50 or more workers. There is no geographic restriction or limited area within which the workers must be located (i.e., FMLA’s 75-mile limit).
  2. Leave is available to the parent or spouse of the service member, or to a person who has or had legal custody of the service member. These terms are not defined in the Act.
  3. Unpaid leave is available for up to 10 days or 80 hours, whichever is less, per calendar year.
  4. Leave is available only if the employee does not have any other leave available for use except sick or disability leave. [Note: This may be interpreted to mean that the Ohio leave does not run concurrently with military family leave available under the FMLA, but only after such FMLA leave has been exhausted.]
  5. The employee must have worked for the employer for 12 consecutive months and 1250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave.
  6. Leave is available if the service member has been called to active duty for a period longer than 30 days or has been injured, wounded, or hospitalized while on active duty.
  7. The employee must provide notice of the intent to take leave:
    – Fourteen days prior to the leave, if the leave is due to a call to active duty.
    – Two days prior to the leave, if the leave is due to an injury, wound, or hospitalization.
    – No notice is required if the leave is due to an injury, wound, or hospitalization of a critical or life-threatening nature.
  8. Leave due to deployment to active duty must be taken within two weeks prior to or one week after the service member’s deployment date.
  9. The employer must continue to provide benefits to the employee during the leave, but the employee is responsible for his/her usual proportion of the cost of the benefits. “Benefits” includes, without limitation, medical, disability and life insurance, and pension and retirement plans.
  10. The employer may require the employee to provide certification from military authority to verify that the leave satisfies the requirements of the act.

The full text of the Act may be found at Ohio Revised Code §§5906.01 – .03, 5906.99. http://codes.ohio.gov/ orc/5906