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If worker is out on FMLA leave, can we modify her job?

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

Q. Before an employee left for FMLA leave, she performed two functions: administrative assistant and some HR duties. We filled the administrative position while she was on leave. Can we assign her to work only in the HR position when she comes back? — B.V., Washington

A. Employees who return from FMLA leave “must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms.” If the new job is substantially equivalent, then you have met your obligation.

Assuming that you are paying her the same as you did before and providing her with the same benefits, the question would be whether changing her job responsibilities by eliminating the administrative assistant functions fundamentally changes the job.

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