FMLA Still Does Not Provide for Paid Family Leave

Last week, Netflix announced that it would expand its paid family leave policy to give new parents unlimited time off during the first year after the arrival of a new baby. This was a pretty monumental headline considering that corporations are under no obligation in New York (and in the rest of the country for that matter) to provide for paid leave to either parent/employee when a new bundle of joy enters their life.

Typically, the only option for a newborn parent is to take family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); where companies with 50 or more employees must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for the birth and care of a newborn child.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of problems with the aforementioned law. FMLA doesn’t cover a large segment of the workforce since not everyone works for companies that employ more than 50 people. This leave is also unpaid; so for those employees that don’t have the luxury of company paid family leave, they must endure a loss of income where the need for it is heightened because of the new addition to the family.

Lately, some companies are stepping up and implementing a paid leave policy for newborn parents, but the percentage of companies that have done so in the US is alarmingly low, only 13%. As such, the only certain way to change how family leave is provided is by having a law mandate paid leave; something to consider next time you elect your representative.

Risman & Risman, P.C. is here to ensure that your employer properly follows FMLA. If you believe you or your family member was and/or has been retaliated against in the workplace for asking or taking family or medical leave, please do not hesitate to contact the employment attorneys of Risman & Risman, P.C. at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.

Millions of Workers to See a Boost in Overtime Wages

A couple of weeks ago President Obama announced that he would be amending a rule applicable to salary thresholds for overtime entitlement under the Fair Labor and Standards Act. The rule would raise the salary threshold below, which workers automatically qualify for time-and-a-half overtime wages to $50,440 a year from $23,660. This is clearly a revolutionary ruling that could potentially affect millions of Americans, including ones in New York State and New York City

Unlike what most believe, this rule is not required to be approved by the Congress – the executive branch has the power to issue the regulation, which would restore the overtime salary threshold to roughly where it stood in 1975 in terms of purchasing power, without congressional approval, according the New York Times.

This is a strong first step by the administration to bridge the enormous wage discrepancy gap in the country. Let us hope for more decisions that follow this trajectory.