The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment on behalf of an employer that was sued in an interference claim under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Articles Discussing FMLA Interference Claims.
A federal district court in Wisconsin analyzed whether an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and discrimination claims may exist if the employee was ineligible for FMLA leave at the time the leave request was made.
During a webinar I conducted last month with the EEOC’s John Hendrickson regarding “leave” as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, I pleaded with, begged, cajoled employers to maintain regular contact with an employee while he or she is on FMLA leave. Here is another reason to heed this advice – failing to do so may increase your risk of an FMLA retaliation claim.
That is the question a federal district court in Arkansas recently held would have to be resolved by a jury, and one that should concern any employer seeking to control the abuse of FMLA leave. Terwilliger v Howard Mem Hosp.pdf
To establish a claim of interference with rights under the FMLA, an employee must ordinarily demonstrate that he or she was entitled to FMLA leave. However, a recent decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals confirms that by affirmatively telling an employee that her leave is protected by the FMLA, an employer may waive its right to contest the employee’s entitlement to leave.
For employers, it pays to listen closely to the reason for which an employee requests time off, since the reason may not always be covered by the FMLA. Kind of like occasions when the employee tells you he needs time off to clean his mother’s flooded basement.