Termination Family Medical Leave Act

News & Analysis as of

Third Circuit Issues Bright-line Interpretation of FMLA’s “Overnight Stay” Rule

Early last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a former employee’s hospital stay did not count as an “overnight stay” under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and thus did not trigger the FMLA’s...more

How Serious is “Serious” under the FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides protections for eligible employees who must take time off of work to deal with serious medical conditions. These protections, codified at 29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(1), allow...more

Employer's Lack of FMLA Compliance in Handling FMLA Leave Request is a Lesson for the Rest of Us

Want a glimpse into a world where an employer fails to maintain a legally compliant leave management process?  Let me warn you — what you are about to read is not pretty and not for the faint of heart....more

Settlement Reminds Employers Probationary Periods Are Not Immune to the ADA

Many employers reserve the right to terminate a new employee at any time during a "probationary period" if they find a new hire is not suited for the job. All too often, this gives employers a false sense of security in the...more

Termination Of Employee For Engaging In Outside Work While On FMLA/CFRA Upheld, But “Honest Belief” Standard Not Addressed

In Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., the California Supreme Court held that an arbitrator committed no legal error when he determined that an employer lawfully terminated an employee for engaging in outside employment while on...more

California Supreme Court Reaffirms High Bar for Reversal of Arbitration Decision

Avery Richey v. AutoNation, Inc., et al. - Supreme Court of California (January 29, 2015) - Generally, courts cannot review arbitration awards for errors of fact or law, except as provided for under limited...more

In The Eleventh Circut, Employers Can Terminate “Protected” Employees For Poor Performance And Violation Of Company Policy

On December 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of an employer against a pregnant employee who had requested FMLA, who was told by her direct supervisor “that [her]...more

Tardy-From-Home

From the beginning, the employee had attendance and punctuality problems, and the problems didn’t improve even when the employer adjusted her schedule. After she was diagnosed with MS, the company approved intermittent FMLA...more

Does a Request for Disability Benefits Qualify as a Request for an Accommodation of Leave Under the ADA?

Last month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals answered this question in the negative and found that an employee’s request for long-term disability benefits did not amount to a request for a reasonable accommodation in the...more

The Importance of Timing in Employment Terminations

There is a saying that “timing is everything,” and in some instances of employment termination, the timing, if not everything, may still be an important consideration....more

Eighth Circuit: Doctor Is Unable to Maintain Employment Claims Due to Determination of Independent Contractor Status

From 1991 until 2011, Larry Alexander worked as a pathologist for Avera St. Luke's Hospital in South Dakota. Under the terms of his contract, Alexander was an independent contractor free from control of Avera. Alexander paid...more

FMLA FAQ: Can We Terminate an Employee for Working a Second Job While on FMLA Leave?

If the employer has a uniformly-applied policy governing outside or supplemental employment, such a policy may continue to apply to an employee while on FMLA leave. An employer which does not have such a policy may not deny...more

Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are...more

California Family Rights Act Interference Claims Proceed

Moore v. Century Gaming Management, Inc., No. B249978 (June 4, 2014): The California Court of Appeal recently ruled in an employee’s favor in a suit in which she claimed that her employer interfered with her rights under the...more

Dear Employers: We Have to Stop Sticking It to Pregnant Moms and Expectant Dads

A few employers apparently have made some rather foolish decisions lately when terminating the employment of an expectant parent, and it’s making the rest of us look like we don’t care much for moms and dads or, for that...more

FMLA Leave – Follow Up on Expected Return to Work

An employee who returns to work at the end of FMLA leave may be entitled to reinstatement, even if the employer wasn’t expecting her. In Gienapp v. Harbor Crest, No. 14-1053 (7th Cir., June 24, 2014), the employee requested...more

Supermarket Chain Takes $536,000 Hit for Bungling FMLA Request

A former employee of a Connecticut supermarket chain was recently awarded approximately $536,000 in a wrongful-termination suit filed after he was fired when he took time off for back surgery. A jury found the supermarket...more

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp. She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds that Terminated Employee Can Waive FMLA Claims Through the Date of a Release

In a victory for common sense, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that an employee could not pursue Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims against her former employer...more

Irregular Attendance May Render An Employee With A Disability "Unqualified"

In a recent case, Daniel Mecca v. Florida Health Services Center, Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-02561 (M.D. Fla. February 3, 2014), a federal court in Florida held that where regular attendance is an "essential function" of a...more

Tenth Circuit Rules On "Termination By Committee"

On January 21, a federal appeals court addressed whether an employee terminated by group decision (six managers) can be considered “similarly situated” to employees who were disciplined less severely by a different decisional...more

Workers May Choose Vacation or FMLA Leave

In 2007, Maria Escriba requested and received two weeks of vacation from her employer to travel to Guatemala to care for her ailing father. When Escriba did not return to work at the end of her leave, the employer discharged...more

Don't let medical absences cloud your judgment

In late January, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Smothers v. Solvay Chemicals Inc. (No. 12-8013, 10th Cir. Jan. 22, 2014) that emphasized the importance of conducting a proper investigation and...more

Last Call! Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That Employer Can Terminate Employee For Violating Strict No Alcohol Return To...

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision holding that an employer's termination of an employee for violating a very broad and restrictive return to work agreement (RWA), which prohibited the employee from...more

Some New Year's Resolutions for HR Professionals in 2014

It’s the time of the season when many make well-intended resolutions for the New Year. Promises usually include ending bad habits and starting good ones. With resolutions in mind, what could human resource professionals focus...more

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