Burlington County jail employees reasonably suspected of abusing sick leave were required, pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement, to submit doctors’ notes regarding each exercise of intermittent family leave within seven days. Police Benevolent Assoc. Local No. 249 v. County of Burlington, 2013 WL 173793 (App. Div., Jan. 17, 2013). One employee on the “sick leave abuse list” took intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for his son, and was disciplined after he failed to provide a doctor’s note. According to the Appellate Division, requiring recertification by a doctor for each exercise of intermittent leave interferes with the exercise of FMLA rights, particularly absent prior abuse of intermittent leave for the condition at issue (son-related). The Appellate Division differentiated the doctor’s note requirement in this matter from a lawful “call-in” requirement, indicating that “such a requirement is patently less onerous than requiring a doctor’s recertification for each use of [intermittent leave] that has already been approved on the basis of a doctor’s certification.”
The Ontario government is proceeding full steam ahead with its plans to push through some significant changes to the province’s labour and employment legislative framework. The government introduced Bill 148 (Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017) in June of 2017, speedily moving it through 1st reading and passing it on to a legislative committee called the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for further consideration and possible amendment.
Oregon’s legislature has approved a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage. Governor Kate Brown signed the bill on March 2, 2016, with increases scheduled to take effect beginning July 1, 2016.
Massachusetts voters approved a new sick leave law that went into effect on July 1, 2015. Many employers with preexisting leave policies, however, took advantage of the so-called “safe harbor” provision in the law and its implementing regulations that allowed those employers to delay full implementation until January 1, 2016, as long as they complied with certain general provisions of the law. This safe harbor expires on January 1, 2016—so employers that relied on the safe harbor rules must now put in place new policies to comply with the sick leave law.