Termination Family Medical Leave Act

News & Analysis as of

Fear of Failure – Terminating Employees with Extensive FMLA and non-FMLA Absences

It’s a scenario that frustrates many employers. An employee with extensive intermittent FMLA absences, possibly including absences for different covered reasons, is also absent for many unspecified or unprotected reasons...more

Third Circuit Upholds Termination of Employee Based on DUI During FMLA Leave

Employers sometimes receive information about employees on medical leave that makes them question the legitimacy of the leave request. For example, an employee who is approved for Family and Medical Leave to care for a sick...more

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

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...

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

A Cautionary Tale: How Sudden Changes to Intermittent FMLA Can Cost You

A January 9 decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals serves as a vivid reminder that employers must tread with great caution when managing intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. As the ruling in...more

Extended Leave Under the ADA: Necessary Next Steps to Consider

Earlier this summer, I wrote an article for the July issue of our firm's L&E Newsletter, surveying cases on when an employee's request for extended medical leave is, and is not, a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. As...more

Employee fired while on FMLA leave: Why it was OK

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

Whistleblower’s Attorney’s Communications with Regulators Found to be Protected by Work Product Doctrine

A California Magistrate Judge in BofI Federal Bank v. Erhart ruled that a whistleblower’s attorney’s communications sent to federal regulators were protected by the attorney work product doctrine. No. 15-cv-2353 (S.D. Cal....more

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

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

Bend Don’t Break: The EEOC Says Inflexible Attendance Policies Violate the ADA

In managing employee attendance, be careful about policies that suggest automatic termination after a certain number of absences as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) believes such policies violate the...more

Why Should Employers Take Pregnancy Discrimination and Accommodation Seriously? Here Are More Than 500,000 Reasons Why.

Doris worked for the Chipotle restaurant chain. And she was pregnant. After she announced her pregnancy to her supervisor, Doris claimed her boss began monitoring her bathroom breaks (then berated her for taking too long),...more

Social Media and the FMLA

Imagine for a moment: you are the administrator for a skilled nursing facility and your activities director has just informed you of a need to take FMLA leave for shoulder surgery. You grant the FMLA request and your...more

Drawing the Line on Leave Policies for Employees With Disabilities

Within the past three months, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has secured nearly $9 million from companies that have committed violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating...more

Fourth Circuit Says Failure to Advise Employee of Leave Reinstatement Interfered with FMLA Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 Ragsdale decision rejected Department of Labor regulations stating that failure to provide employees with notice of leave rights was a per se violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act....more

To Enforce a Call-off Policy or Not to Enforce a Call-off Policy; that is the Question

Recently you’ve noticed that an employee takes FMLA-covered leave the same week every year or always seems to have a medical emergency between Thanksgiving and January 1. Similarly, another employee regularly calls out of...more

Managing Employee Requests for “Indefinite” Disability Leave: the D.C. Court of Appeals Offers Guidance

Managing employees’ requests for disability accommodations can be challenging, particularly when an employee requests leave for extended or unlimited periods of time. A common misperception by employers is that once an...more

Second Circuit Holds HR Professionals Can Be Liable as ‘Employers’ Under FMLA

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held that a human resources manager could be held liable as an employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In issuing its decision in Graziadio v. Culinary...more

The Rights and Limitations of Associational Discrimination under the ADA

While a recent Second Circuit case received lots of headlines regarding its discussion of individual liability under FMLA, the case has some other nuggets for employers to understand, as my colleague Gary Starr explains in...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2016

Will Smoking Pot on the Job Get You Fired? You’d think that would be a slam dunk question, but if you’re a state employee whose union is willing to take your case to an arbitrator, apparently it isn’t. Back in 2012,...more

Second Circuit Finds Human Resource Manager Personally Liable for FMLA Violations

The Family and Medical Leave Act imposes liability for interference by the “employer” with leave rights. Typically, the disgruntled employee asserts FMLA claims against the company employing him or her, but the Act also...more

Will HR Managers Get Cooked? Second Circuit Says Culinary Institute’s Human Resources Director May Face Individual Liability...

Whether a Human Resources Director will be deemed the “employer” and held individually liable for alleged violations under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) should be left to the jury, according to the Second Circuit’s...more

The Individual Liability You Never Knew You Had: Second Circuit Rules HR Directors May Be Liable for FMLA Violations

HR Directors, Beware: Your role in terminating employees may expose you to individual liability under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., Graziadio, a Payroll...more

Labor and Employment Group News: Human Resources Director Can Be Held Personally Liable Under FMLA

On March 17, 2016, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Human Resources Director can be held personally liable, under a broad reading of what constitutes "an employer" under the FMLA. Graziadio v. Culinary...more

Second Circuit Holds That HR Director May Be Individually Liable Under the FMLA Based On “Economic Realities” Analysis

It may not be well-known that the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides for individual, as well as corporate liability. Therefore, in a matter of importance to Human Resources personnel, supervisors, and their employers,...more

Individual Employees Can Be Sued For FMLA Violations, Court Rules

It’s been a big couple of days for court opinions. Today’s turn: FMLA lawsuits. When we last talked about the FMLA, it was in the context of the fact that sometimes things about the law are bit complicated....more

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