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University Gets Financial Reminder Adult Children Covered By FMLA

The University of Northern Iowa was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) for a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A custodial employee requested leave to care for her ill adult child. Instead of receiving that leave, the employee was fired during the FMLA period. Under DOL guidance, employees are allowed to take FMLA leave to care for an adult son or daughter if the adult child is unable to take care of themselves due to a mental or physical impairment that “substantially limits one or more of the individual’s major life activities.”
A settlement was reached with the employee following the DOL investigation. She will receive $59,688 in back wages and liquidated damages as well as an amendment to her personnel file to reflect that she retired. The DOL statement read: “The Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees in just this type of circumstance and allows critically needed workplace flexibility precisely when employees need it the most.” The state Board of Regents for the college system must provide FMLA training to all supervisory employees in the school’s custodial services and residence facilities administration as well as family/medical leave and Americans with Disabilities training to the human resources department.