Practice Areas

    Employment Law

    Labor Law

    Employee Benefits Law

    Commercial Litigation

    Construction Law

    Dispute Resolution

    Harassment Claims

    Wage and Hour Law

    Mediation and Arbitration

    Other Employment Litigation



Contact Us


HR Solutions

FMLA Releases
Nixed by Federal Appeals Court

No good unless approved
by Court or US DOL

    Earlier this month the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Department of Labor regulation and ruled that private releases of FMLA rights, such as in settlement agreements or severance agreements, are invalid. Only those approved by a court or the DOL are enforceable.  Taylor v Progress Energy, Inc.

    The Seventh Circuit has not addressed this question - yet - and there is no case law from the Northern District of Illinois that either plaintiffs or employers can rely on.  Therefore:  1) the Fourth Circuit decision has no effect in Illinois,  but  2) because so few courts have ruled on this point, know that to a small degree employers include the FMLA in releases at their peril.

    We note that in the Taylor appeal even the US Department of Labor filed a brief on the side of the employer, claiming that the regulation was never intended to bar the use of waivers for settlement of claims of past FMLA violations.