Fired after using FMLA leave? Expect lawsuit.

If an employee takes FMLA leave and can't return to work once she's used it up, some employers assume they can fire her. That might be legally defensible if she's not disabled and thus possibly entitled to extended leave as a reasonable accommodation.

But what if she has already returned to work and a few days later takes another day off? Firing her while referencing use of FMLA leave may trigger a retaliation lawsuit.

Recent case: Heather worked as a residential care attendant and certified nurse's aide. Due to a number of medical issues, including two surgeries, she took FMLA leave three times during 2015. Her last surgery was a hysterectomy. She returned to work on time after using up the last of her FMLA leave.

Then, a few days after returning, she experienced pain from the surgery and left work to see her doctor. He gave her a note that said "light duty until further notice." Heather gave the note to her supervisor. She didn't request more leave, just light duty.

Several days later, Heather got a letter from the employer...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT