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Return FMLA leave-taker to equivalent job, no matter what

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who take leave under the FMLA or the New Jersey Family Leave Act are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position.

Recent case: Agnes Theodossiou worked for a bank as an assistant vice president, making $100,000. She took time off to give birth, claiming leave under both the FMLA and the NJFLA.

When she returned, someone else was occupying her desk and she was given clerical tasks to do. Then her old job was eliminated and she was terminated. The bank claimed she would have been terminated even if she hadn’t taken leave.

She sued, alleging she had been denied reinstatement.

The court ordered a trial. It said that even if she returned only for a short time before being terminated, the job she returned to should have been the same or equivalent to her old one. (Theodossiou v. Commerce, No. 06-4137, DC NJ, 2009)

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