Employer Lawfully Fires Soon-to-be-Covered Employee Who Gives Notice of Need for Upcoming FMLA Leave

more+
less-
more+
less-

Timing is everything.  If an employee has not yet been employed for the 12 months required by law in order to be eligible for Family & Medical Leave Act leave, is the employee protected from discharge for expressing her intention to take such a leave as soon as she becomes qualified?  A district court rules no, there is no protection.* In Dunn, an employee known to have cancer informed her boss, the company's Chief Financial Officer, that she would need to take FMLA leave in 30 days, immediately upon reaching her one-year work anniversary, at which point she would qualify for an FMLA leave.  Only one-half hour later, her boss fired her, informing her that he expected to be promoted in the near future and would need an assistant who could work on a full-time basis.  By saying this, the boss explicitly admitted that she was being fired because of her need to take FMLA leave and her anticipated absences associated with such a leave.

Nevertheless, the Court ruled that the employee, by law, was not yet protected by the FMLA, and therefore, dismissed her retaliation and interference claims under the FMLA.  Her disability discrimination claims pleaded under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Tennessee state discrimination law were not dismissed from the case.

* Dunn v. Chattanooga Publishing, No. 1:12-CV-252.  (E.D. Tenn. Jan. 14, 2013).

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sherman & Howard L.L.C. | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.
×
Loading...
×
×