Texas readers may be well aware of the fact that women are frequently penalized in the workplace for becoming mothers. On the other hand, studies show that men with families are seen as favorable hires by those who make hiring decisions. For some, men with a family are viewed as reliable, according to researchers. However, this same body of research indicates that men may be penalized if they take paternity leave or time off to spend time with their families.
Employees and employers in Texas may be interested in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit decision that stated that an employee has the right to take leave without invoking the Family and Medical Leave Act, regardless of whether the reason for requesting leave falls under the act's protections. The ruling was in favor of Foster Poultry Farms, which was facing allegations of violating the FMLA by a former employee.
A recent survey by the National Partnership for Women & Families revealed that most women continue to work while they are pregnant. An astonishing number of employers do not accommodate their needs before or after giving birth. While the Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to provide time off to employees who have health issues and are pregnant, the letter of the law is not always followed.
When the Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, it opened the door for partners in same-sex marriages to access benefits previously unavailable to them. For same-sex couples in San Antonio, that decision is finally bearing fruit. The Office of Personnel Management recently issued a memo detailing how the decision affects benefits available to same-sex partners of federal employees under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The importance of the Family Medical Leave Act cannot be understated. Enacted in 1993, the law's intention is twofold: to protect people who are dealing with a serious medical situation, and to offer families a chance to better balance work and life.
It is easy for a negative workplace culture to run out of control -- and in most cases, there are few ways to stop it, let alone the employers being aware of it. Maybe an inside joke runs through the office for months, desensitizing the jokers to the delicate nature of what they are doing -- and eventually things get carried away, and the joke offends someone.
We have previously written about the Family Medical Leave Act and the vast importance of the law as it pertains to employee rights. When an employee is faced with extreme or extenuating situations that relate to medical conditions or family circumstances, the FMLA obligates employers to give the worker time off.
It has been 20 years since President Clinton signed the FMLA into law. The law has helped countless employees take time off from their jobs to care for a family member or a new baby without fear of being fired. However, the law doesn't protect everyone, including those who work less than 25 hours a week.
It wasn't so long ago that employers were able to blatantly fire someone simply because they became pregnant. Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 become law, it was perfectly lawful to refuse to hire someone, or not provide them with promotional opportunities, or to fire them if they became pregnant and there was no job security for women who took maternity leave.