News & Analysis as of

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

FMLA: Discipline Unrelated to Leave Is Not Retaliatory

The New Hampshire Federal Court issued a recent decision affirming that an employer may take disciplinary action against an employee who has taken FMLA leave, provided the information is accurate and unrelated to the leave. ...more

Another Pro-Employee Fifth Circuit Decision: Employee’s FMLA Claim Survives Summary Judgment

In another pro-employee decision, like its ruling in the Feist case that I analyzed last week, the Fifth Circuit overturned another district court’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed the plaintiff-employee’s FMLA...more

Employers Should Be Aware Of The Risks Of Unexpected FMLA Liability

Executive Summary: While most companies are aware of the liability they may face if they violate the FMLA, a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit serves as a reminder of just how important it is for employers to train...more

Forced Leave – No Violation

An employer thought one particular employee was obviously unwell. The employer placed her on FMLA leave and required her to get certification of fitness to return to work. The first doctor released her to work. A second...more

Employee Fired For Absences Exceeding His Certification Can Raise A Viable FMLA Claim

Have you ever made a rash decision that you wish you could take back the second you made it? ...more

Leave-of-Absence Issues Managers Need to Know

In many organizations, the human resources function is handled by specialists who guide managers' decision-making to ensure consistency with myriad employment laws. It is not uncommon, however, for HR professionals to get...more

Why Must Employers Train Their Managers About The FMLA? Here Are 1.2 Million Reasons Why

I came across an interesting FMLA case this past week, and the facts are simple enough that it kept my attention. [In the age of Twitter and Facebook, anything beyond a 30-second sound byte and you might as well give me a...more

Terminating an Employee on the Heels of an FMLA Request: A Court Offers Some Guidance on Doing It Legally

A problematic employee is teetering on the brink of termination and suddenly requests FMLA leave. Do you terminate him for cause or grant the FMLA leave and give him another chance to avoid the retaliation claim? What if he...more

Assignment to a Lesser Position Upon Return From Leave May Support FMLA Interference Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of an employer, holding that a plaintiff’s testimony and evidence related to her transfer to a position of less responsibility upon return from leave...more

Temporal Proximity Between FMLA Leave and Firing Does Not Always Lead to Successful Legal Claim

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) continues to create administrative challenges for employers. One particular issue of concern is the discipline and/or termination of an employee who has requested or is on FMLA leave....more

An Employer's Measured Response to Suspected Workplace FMLA Fraud Wins the Day

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in Jaszczyszyn v. Advantage Health Physician Network, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23162 (Nov. 7, 20012), affirming summary judgment for an employer in a case...more

Dads Need Lovin' Too! Father Can Proceed with FMLA Retaliation Claim in "Macho Culture" Lawsuit

Dads need lovin' too. So says a federal court judge, who has allowed a father to proceed on his FMLA retaliation claim after the employee alleged that his employer's "macho man" culture was a culprit in his ouster. ...more

Termination Two Days Before Taking FMLA Leave “Unusually Suggestive,” New Jersey District Court Holds

In St. Cyr v. Brandywine Senior Living, Inc., 20 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85426 (D.N.J. June 20, 2012), the court denied summary judgment in an FMLA interference and retaliation suit in which an employee was terminated a mere two...more

Employer’s Mistaken Allowance Of FMLA Leave Can Create Liability For Retaliation

In order to be granted a leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employee first must fulfill certain eligibility requirements, including having worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and...more

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