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Reversing FMLA denial doesn’t end retaliation claim

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

Here’s a reminder that HR needs to do everything in its power to get FMLA decisions right.

If you turn down an FMLA request and then punish the employee for missing work, she could sue, claiming she was retaliated against for requesting FMLA leave in the first place.

Reversing the original FMLA decision won’t end the case.

Recent case: Patricia Boker worked for the IRS. Her asthma flared up, but her request for FMLA leave was denied. When she took time off anyway, the IRS deemed her absent without leave.

She sued, alleging retaliation for asserting her FMLA rights. The IRS then reversed the decision retroactively.

But the court said her retaliation case could continue because a reasonable person might be dissuaded from asking for FMLA leave if she believed she might be punished for doing so. (Boker v. Department of the Treasury, No. 1:07-CV-00446, SD OH, 2010)

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