The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division recently announced that T.G.I.Fridays agreed to change its leave policy to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The move affects employees at its 272 company-owned locations.
The company also agreed to correct FMLA violations found during an investigation of one of its restaurants in Louisiana. Employers covered by the FMLA must post specified information regarding family and medical leave and also must distribute information on FMLA leave to employees and incorporate that information into the employee handbook.
The DOL investigation found that T.G.I. Fridays did not have a legally compliant FMLA policy or notification practices. “The policy did not include information on the FMLA’s military family leave provisions, information on the right to take FMLA-covered leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis, and misstated the 12-month employment requirement for FMLA eligibility as being 12 continuous months,” the DOL stated.
The investigation also found that T.G.I. Fridays failed to reinstate an employee returning from FMLA leave to the same or equivalent position, including pay, benefits and other terms of employment. The worker was also not allowed to return to work immediately following FMLA leave. The delay caused the employee to lose three weeks of pay. The company agreed to pay the employee $1,455 in back wages.
Under the FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Under certain circumstances, eligible employees are allowed up to 26 weeks of leave for military family leave.
HRCalifornia’s HR Library offers extensive information on employer notice requirements under the FMLA and California Family Rights Act.
CalChamber’s California and Federal Employment Notices Poster contains the 16 state and federal employment notices every California employer must post. The 2013 poster includes all mandatory changes that went into effect at the first of the year. Posters ordered as of February 7, 2013, will reflect recent mandatory changes to FMLA Notice C.