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Follow your own rules, courts will probably side with you

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

You just can’t satisfy some employees. They’ll always find something to complain about. But if supervisors keep their cool and hold employees to the rules, chances are a disgruntled employee won’t get far with a lawsuit.

Recent case: Barbara Thomas-Bagrowski, who is black and claims to have a back problem, worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She was denied the right to telecommute as an accommodation. The FAA told her that in order to have that accommodation, she would have to submit proof of her disability. She refused. Then she stopped showing up, and the FAA fired her.

She sued, alleging she had been denied the accommodation. The court rejected her claim, pointing out that employees have to follow the rules for requesting accommodations and sick leave. Not showing up isn’t an option. (Thomas-Bagrowski v. LaHood, No. 08-3952, 7th Cir., 2010)

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