News & Analysis as of

Family Medical Leave Act Retaliation

The Family Medical Leave Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1993 to protect employees from negative employment consequences associated with family illness. The FMLA allows covered employees to take... more +
The Family Medical Leave Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1993 to protect employees from negative employment consequences associated with family illness. The FMLA allows covered employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave, in order to care for a qualified family member or address a personal medical issue.   Situations covered under the Act include: birth of a child and care of a newborn; placement of an adopted or foster child; serious illness of an employee's spouse, child or parent;  serious illness of the employee that affects ability to perform his/her job; situations arising out of an employee's spouse, child or parent's active military service. Employees who take leave to care for a seriously injured family servicemember are eligible for longer periods of covered leave.  less -

“You Can’t Fire Me, I Just Came Back From FMLA Leave.”

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Contrary to apparent popular belief, employees who have recently taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can be terminated for legitimate reasons unrelated to their FMLA leave. Establishing a...more

Sixth Circuit Recognizes “Cat’s Paw” Theory of Liability in FMLA Retaliation

by Reminger Co., LPA on

In Marshall v. Rawlings Co., a 2-1 split decision, the Sixth Circuit recently adopted the cat’s paw theory of liability for the first time in an FMLA retaliation lawsuit. Marshall v. Rawlings Co. LLC, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS...more

Sixth Circuit Extends "Cat’s Paw" Liability Theory to FMLA Retaliation Claims

by Littler on

Properly identifying the decisionmaker in an employment discrimination case is important because it is the intent of the decisionmaker that determines whether an adverse employment action was motivated by a discriminatory or...more

Sixth Circuit Says "Cat's Paw" Theory Applies to FMLA Retaliation Claim

Employers sometimes defend retaliation claims by responding that the person or persons making the adverse employment decision was not aware of the plaintiff’s prior complaint. In the employment discrimination context, the...more

A Diamond in the Rough (Part 2): What the Eleventh Circuit Said about FMLA Retaliation Claims

My last post talked about Diamond v. Hospice of Florida Keys and what the Eleventh Circuit said about FMLA interference claims. As promised, this post will look at the Diamond decision’s take on the FMLA retaliation front....more

Manager's Thoughtless Comment Resurrects Poor Performer's FMLA Claims

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

There may not be a more toxic combination in the land of Human Resources: a poorly performing employee and an untrained boss who just can’t keep his mouth shut. ...more

Third Circuit Court Offers Employers Insight into FMLA and ADA

by PretiFlaherty on

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently waded into the waters of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), finding that an employer did not violate the FMLA or ADA where it...more

Court OK’s termination of diabetic employee for misconduct

by McAfee & Taft on

A recent federal appeals court decision case upheld an employer’s termination of a diabetic employee for misconduct, despite the employee’s argument that her poor work performance was a result of low-blood sugar....more

“You Can’t Do That to Me, I Requested FMLA Leave!” – Proving FMLA Retaliation

by Baker Donelson on

Employers are often hesitant to take disciplinary or other actions with an employee who has recently requested or has taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). While the law does not prohibit such action,...more

The “Honest Belief” Defense Comes to the Third Circuit

In the Third Circuit, an employer’s honest belief that an employee committed misconduct can now serve as a defense to a retaliation claim under the FMLA. With the recent decision in Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC the Third...more

Beware What You Share – Disclosure of Medical Information Results in Retaliation and Interference Claims

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

A United States District Court in Florida thwarted an employer’s attempt to toss the FMLA claims of an employee who sued after his medical condition was disclosed to co-workers who subsequently made fun of him. The employee...more

Weighty Issues: Obesity And The But-For Test Under The ADAAA

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Obesity is still a hot topic both in our health conscious culture and in our courtrooms where we continue to see ADAAA claims based on the notion that an employer fired an employee because the employee was obese. After the...more

Third Circuit Says “Last Call” for Employee Terminated After Caught Drinking While on FMLA “Bed Rest”

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

On January 31, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit joined the Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits in holding that an employer’s honest belief that its employee was misusing FMLA leave is enough to...more

Third Circuit adopts the “honest belief” defense to FMLA retaliation claims and confirms that FMLA leave requests can double as...

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The Third Circuit’s recent decision in Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC is a mixed bag for employers. The good news is that it establishes that an employer’s honest belief that its employee misused FMLA leave can defeat a...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms FMLA Retaliation Claim Based on Employer Ending Home Working Arrangement

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not require employers to agree to allow employees to work from home based on medical restrictions. The Americans with Disabilities Act may require employers to provide such...more

Employee’s ADA and FMLA Claims Survive Summary Judgment After Leaving Work Early To Go To Hospital

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

In Knight v. Barry Callebaut USA Service Company, Inc., the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on claims brought by a terminated employee...more

Former Pa AG Investigator’s FMLA Claim Dismissed: No FMLA Protection After Leave Ends Despite Extension of Leave

by Saul Ewing LLP on

The saga of former Attorney General Kathleen Kane continued in the courts on January 4, 2017 when Judge Sylvia Rambo (Middle District of Pennsylvania) dismissed an FMLA claim brought against her by a former investigator. In...more

Recent Appellate Court Decision Provides Guidance For Investigating Intermittent FMLA Abuse

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

Intermittent FMLA leave can be a source of frustration for employers even when it is used appropriately because it complicates staffing and planning and interrupts business operations. But when an employee’s use of...more

FMLA Fraud Finding Leads To Employer Court Victory - 3 Things You Need To Know About Latest Decision

by Fisher Phillips on

An employer recently claimed a significant victory in a case brought by a former employee who believed he had been unfairly targeted for termination because of his Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave request. The...more

Stuck in Cape Town Again

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

By creatively patching together scheduled days off, vacation days, and personal holidays, and then switching a shift, the plaintiff put together 21 days off. Unfortunately, he was still scheduled for one shift right in the...more

Employee fired while on FMLA leave: Why it was OK

by McAfee & Taft on

Don’t get me wrong: Firing an employee while they are on a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absence is dicey. But, as a recent federal appeals court decision that covers Oklahoma employers demonstrates, there are...more

Kiss Your Retaliation Suit Hello: Company Faces Trial after Changing Explanation for Firing

by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP on

When an employee brings a lawsuit alleging that his employer retaliated or discriminated against him, courts typically assess the claim by using a burden-shifting approach. Under this approach, after the employer offers a...more

Tenth Circuit Decision Shows How Employers Can Deal with Performance Problems Discovered with Employees on Leave

Employees on approved Family and Medical Leave are entitled to reinstatement upon return to the same or an equivalent position. Commonly, when the employee is absent on leave, the employer discovers work performance issues...more

Sweet Justice! Dismissal of Bully's FMLA Claim Proves Employers Can Safely Terminate an Employee on the Heels of FMLA Leave

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

I hate bullies. Back in 4th grade, Sister Mary Demetria, OSF, told us that “hating” someone was a sin. I’m convinced Sister never met a bully. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Cause, you see, whenever I...more

Illinois Increases Protected Leaves for Employees

by Littler on

Just two months after Chicago became the second city in the Midwest to require employers to provide paid sick leave, Illinois has enacted three laws that entitle employees to additional protected leaves.  The Child...more

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