Tristate Employee Leave Attorney
What a Skilled Tristate Employee Leave Attorney Can Do for You
More often than not, the question of whether to grant a leave of absence (LOA) is complicated by coinciding employer leave policies and overlapping federal and state laws. To determine the right course of action, employers in the tristate area must have the business and legal acumen to coordinate company policies with leave laws in WV, KY, or OH and at the federal level as well as account for the human side of the situation.
Employers facing these decisions benefit greatly from working with a tristate employee leave attorney who is experienced in fashioning leave policies and procedures that effectively harmonize various types of leave, standardize the review process, and ensure compliance with federal and state statutory requirements.
The Domain of the Tristate Employee Leave Attorney
The wide array of relevant federal and state legal schemes can make managing LOAs difficult. Employers developing and executing leave policies must comply with a number federal and state statutory schemes.
An experienced tristate leave law attorney helps employers comply with all relevant statutory leave laws. At the federal level, these include the following:
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA);
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
- Workers’ Compensation;
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and state military leave laws;
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; and
- Fair Labor Standards Act
Employers must also be conversant in employee leave laws in WV, KY, OH, or any other state in which they operate. The wage and hour laws may require different things in different states.
Solving the Puzzle of Granting Leave
Possessing a working knowledge of the law when establishing and executing your company policies is crucial for making the right decisions about granting leave. Not every law applies to every employer nor to every situation, and employers often need assistance determining which laws apply and how to apply them.
Depending on the circumstances, one or more of statutory frameworks could be at play. For example, in the case of an ill or injured employee, multiple legal frameworks need to be considered—FMLA, ADA, worker’s compensation, and state and federal wage and hour laws.
Additionally, some statutory schemes mandate that employers grant leave only when certain requirements are met. For example, only employers with 50 or more employees for 20 or more weeks in the present or preceding year must abide by FMLA in WV. Even then, only employees who have worked for the employer for 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours during the preceding year are eligible for FMLA leave.
Further, failing to satisfy the statutory requirements of one law does not eliminate the application of another. An employee’s LOA may not qualify under FMLA, but the employee may nevertheless be eligible for ADA leave in WV, KY, or OH as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA and state disability discrimination statutes. In fact, the ADA and state anti-discrimination laws may require an employer to modify its leave policy thereby providing or extending LOA in certain cases unless doing so causes the employer undue hardship.
Employers must also consider their internal leave policies such as paid time off (PTO) and disability benefits when making decisions about leave requests. Many companies have leave policies that exceed what is required by law. For example, sick leave, paid or unpaid, is not legally required in Huntington, WV or the tristate area; however, many employers elect to provide sick leave to their employees. Those that do are bound by their policies and must grant time off accordingly.
Applying Employee Leave Laws in WV, KY, and OH: A Case-by-Case Analysis
Whether a business operates in a single state or across state boundaries, evaluating leave requests can be difficult. No two requests for LOA are the same, even with solid policies and procedures in place, so an employee’s leave request may stump even an experienced human resources manager. Key to properly addressing each LOA request is understanding that there are no magic words required to be eligible for leave. For example, a leave request triggers eligibility based for FMLA or ADA leave in WV, OH and KY based on the circumstances alleged regardless of how it is worded. Employees do not need to reference the relevant act or request a reasonable accommodation for their rights to be invoked under a leave statute.
Policies and Procedures are Just the Beginning
Sometimes employees are not happy with the outcome of their LOA requests and file claims alleging that their leave was illegally denied or mishandled. In these instances, employers need help from attorneys experienced in litigating leave matters in administrative or judicial proceedings. Managing LOA requests in WV, KY, and OH takes deep technical knowledge and an appreciation for business and employee needs. Don’t go it alone. The labor and employment attorneys at Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC are available to answer all leave questions—from the simple to the complex. Contact a tristate employee leave attorney at Jenkins Fenstermaker by completing this online form or by calling (304) 523-2100 in the greater Huntington are or (866) 617-4736 toll-free.