One of the most confounding areas of employment law relates to
employee leave. Who is entitled to leave? Under what circumstances?
Can you hire a replacement for an employee, or do you have to
protect or hold open an employee's job during the leave?
Although the issues are seemingly complex and confusing at
first, it is important you understand them. You then can answer the
questions with confidence by taking a step-by-step approach to
considering and administering each leave according to applicable
laws and with regard to any applicable company policies and
In this article, we will discuss the steps you should take to
analyze a leave request under federal law. However, most federal
laws have state and local counterparts that mirror federal
provisions but often expand the reach of such provisions or apply
different eligibility or definitional requirements. What law
applies depends on the state. Although the framework we will
discuss can be applied to leave issues arising under any law, it is
critical in every situation to consult legal counsel or a
human-resources professional to determine how state and local laws
may alter or expand your considerations.
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