Education & Events

Employees' Personal Family Responsibilities
Originally recorded on February 13, 2014 (60 minutes)
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Employees' Personal Family Responsibilities
Presented by Karen Piper
February 13, 2013
10:00-11:00 am EST

A hodge-podge of federal and state laws has been used to require employers to accommodate employees' need for time off due to personal family responsibilities.  For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires accommodation of employees' need for short term absences to attend to various family needs.  Other family responsibilities which do not fit within the FMLA's provisions may qualify for accommodation under other laws, such as Title VII's provisions on gender and pregnancy discrimination. Michigan's Civil Rights Act broadly recognizes, as a "civil right," the "opportunity to obtain employment" without discrimination because of "familial status," but the Act does not expressly require accommodation of an employee's or applicant's family status. 

This webinar will alert you to the various laws which have been used to require employers to accommodate employees' family needs and help you make the right employment decisions for your organization. 

You will Learn:

  • What is the scope of the FMLA's mandates regarding leave for female and male employees to participate in prenatal care, childbirth, and newborn care?
  • Does state or federal law mandate "light duty" work for employees during pregnancy?
  • Must an employer grant an employee time off to express breast milk during the workday?
  • Must an employer grant an employee time off to care for a seriously ill child of the employee's same sex spouse?
  • What is the scope of leave required for employees who stand in loco parentis to care for children other than their own?
  • The scope of leave required for employees to care for persons who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a child?
  • How has Title VII been used to require accommodation of employees' family responsibilities?
  • Can an employee be fired for excessive absence to care for a disabled family member?


Karen Piper is a Member of Bodman PLC who works in its Troy, Michigan office.  Ms. Piper specializes in workplace law, education law, and litigation.  She represents and counsels employers on contemporary employment law issues, such as, workplace bullying; social media issues; background checks; and employee privacy; as well as traditional employment law issues such as, discrimination, sexual and other forms of illegal harassment, and retaliation issues; accommodating employees with disabilities; FMLA issues; wage and hour issues; reductions-in-force, discipline and discharge issues; and affirmative action plans. She chairs the Legal Affairs Committee of the Detroit chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management.


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