Can you fire an employee on FMLA leave?

You know that employees cannot be penalized in any way as a result of exercising their rights under the FMLA. But what if there is a legitimate reason to terminate that is unrelated to the FMLA leave?

FMLA protections can apply to even to non-eligible employees

Earlier this year the Eleventh Circuit held that an employee who was not yet eligible for FMLA leave could still be protected by the law.  The plaintiff in Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. told her employer she would need leave following the birth of her child.  She was not yet eligible for the leave [...]

Insufficient notice of need for FMLA leave proves fatal for insubordinate employee

Last month, the Sixth Circuit denied the FMLA claim of a fired employee who suffered from a heart condition.  In Gipson v. Vought Aircraft Industries, plant maintenance worker Howard Gipson refused his supervisor's order that he remove his personal effects from the union office.  His supervisor asked him three times to move his belongings, but [...]

FMLA leave applies to same-sex parents

On June 22, 2010, the Department of Labor issued an interpretation of of the definition of "son or daughter" under the FMLA.  The DOL gave the term "parent" an expansive view, going beyond legal or biological relationships.  Thus, any employee who assumes the role of caring for a child is a "parent" under the statute [...]

Absenteeism and Alcoholism – When can you fire?

Last week a New York federal appeals court determined that while alcoholism can be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the impairment cannot protect an employee from termination if it affects his ability to show up for work. Bruce VandenBroek sued his former employer, claiming he was terminated because of his [...]

One more reason to take workplace investigations seriously (as if you needed one)

In Monday's Ohio Employer's Law Blog, Jon Hyman discussed the recent Sixth Circuit case of Weimer v. Honda of Amer., where the court upheld the jury's verdict in favor of the employer.  The issue was whether the employer's termination of the plaintiff violated his rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Honda discharged Weimer [...]

Recap of this Week’s Employment-Related News

Inspired by lawyer Jon Hyman's weekly wrap-up on his Ohio Employer's Law Blog, following is a recap of some of this week's employment-related news: The Emergency Influenza Containment Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation, applicable to employers with 15 or more employees, would require employers to provide up to five [...]

The Top Five Reasons Not to do an HR Audit

1.   You’re not Sure what your HR Department Does and You Don’t Care One of the key areas of an HR audit is evaluating whether your organization has allocated an appropriate level of resources to HR issues and making sure the HR function is aligned with the organization’s strategic business principles. A well functioning HR [...]