Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
FMLA is the federal law granting employees up to 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave per year. Under FMLA, an employee can take leave for a “serious health condition” rendering the employee unable to perform the job. The employee may also be able to take leave in order to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition. Examples of protected leave requests could include an employee who suffers from depression or anxiety triggered by the death of a family member or an employee who cares for a family member’s chronic condition that was aggravated by the hurricane such as stress or high blood pressure. Additionally, an employee could qualify for leave in order to help move an elderly parent into an assisted living facility or administer medication or treatment to a family member who cannot receive normal treatment due to the storm and resulting power outages, flooded roads, or medical facility closures. However, a request for leave to take care of a family member’s flooded basement, without more, would not qualify as FMLA leave.
Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA)
OFLA is Oregon’s state family medical leave law that generally protects more types of leave than FMLA. For example, OFLA includes up to two weeks of bereavement leave to deal with the death of a family member either to grieve, attend a funeral or similar service, or to take care of logistics arising from the death. Bereavement leave must be taken within 60 days of when the employee receives notice of the death of the family member and it may be taken intermittently. Also, under OFLA, an employee can qualify for leave to take care of a broader list of family members, including grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, same gender domestic partners and children and parents of same gender domestic partners.
Employers should prepare for employment issues that may arise from this natural disaster and impact business operations. When an employee requests leave related to a natural disaster, the best practice for employers is to get as much information as possible from the employee. If your company has standard leave request paperwork, have the employee fill out the paperwork. These forms help the employer identify whether the leave is protected under FMLA or OFLA. Consider preparing these letters and medical certification forms if your workplace does not already use them.
For any specific questions about how Hurricane Harvey impacts your workplace, contact Amy Angel at (503) 276-2195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2018 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2018 por Barran Liebman LLP.