HRM: Elora Jean & Co

The Elora Jean & Co. owner has come to you asking for guidance on a few issues that were brought to her attention. With the rapidly growing workforce, an increasing number of employees have requested extended time off from work. The owner does not want to grant the time off because of its effect on productivity.

When asked for examples of the requests, he provides you with the following:

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Employee #1 has been with Elora Jean & Co. for 13 months. She has requested time off to help care for her terminally ill mother-in-law. She is not sure how long she will need to be out of work, but it could be as long as three months.

Employee #2 has been with Elora Jean & Co. for 18 months. His wife just had a baby and he is asking to take 6 weeks off of work to help with the new responsibilities at home.

Employee #3 developed health problems since her start with Elora Jean & Co. 7 months ago. Her work attendance is unpredictable. She has exhausted all of her sick days, and advised her supervisor that her doctor is requiring her to remain at home for a period of 6 weeks.

As the HR consultant, you have many questions and you would like to gather all of the necessary information before providing additional guidance or recommendations. You are aware of the company’s legal limitations and discretions, such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The owner has also advised you that the company has no formal “leave policy” for any type of employee absence, other than seven paid sick days per year.

As a group, engage in a discussion on the small group discussion board, focusing on the following questions:

Considering the Elora Jean & Co. work environment and history (124 employees, in business for 18 months, mix of union/non-union), is the company currently exposed to any legal risk by not having a defined leave policy in place? If so, what are the risks and the penalties for violation?

Of the three employee cases described, discuss whether each one would qualify for FMLA leave. Why or why not?
For employees who do not qualify under FMLA, what legal discretions would you recommend to the company? Explain other employee “leave” options for the company without compromising the company’s financial objectives?

As a second step of this group assignment, you must develop a sample Leave Policy to be presented to the company owner. Be sure the policy covers the key components of a comprehensive leave policy, including requirements for eligibility, leave benefits provided, job restoration, pay, and benefits status while on leave. On a cover page of the policy, outline a summary of your recommendations to the company owner, advising him of the value to Elora Jean & Co. in implementing this policy.

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Considering the Elora Jean & Co. work environment and history (124 employees, in business for 18 months, mix of union/non-union), is the company currently exposed to any legal risk by not having a defined leave policy in place? If so, what are the risks and the penalties for violation?

Since the company does not have a well defined leave policy in place the company can face legal challenges from several quarters. First, the company can be held legally liable for violation of specific statutes. For example, it can be held liable for the violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, the company will be held liable according to the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act. Under 29 CFR 825.104 Elora Jean & Co is an employer that is covered under the Family Medical Leave Act, the reason is that it employs more than 50 employees for more than 20 workweeks.

If Elora Jean & Co violates the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act it would be declared to be an unlawful act. There can be two forms of penalties that can take place for the violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. Complaints can be made to The Wage and Hour Division and it will investigate the complaints made. The Division will try to resolve the matter related to violations. If these violations cannot be resolved, the US Department of Labor may bring action in court to compel compliance.

In addition, individual employees may bring private civil action against the employer for violations. Further, as some of the employees are unionized, they may file complaints with the union and the union will take action against Elora Jean & Co.

Of the three employee cases described, discuss …

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