Theprovides protected leave for employees who meet the law’s eligibility requirements. That protection includes the right to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent position when the employee is ready to return to work.
But that right has limits. Employers are entirely within their rights to continue any disciplinary action they began before the employee went out on leave—including demotion or termination. In other words, the right to reinstatement isn’t absolute.
Employers that are confident they can prove that they would have disciplined the employee whether she took leave or not shouldn’t fear losing an FMLA interference lawsuit.
They can also use anything they discover during the employee’s leave to bolster their disciplinary decision. That’s what happened in once recent case.
Recent case: Ellen Schaaf worked for GlaxoSmithKline as a regional vice president, where she was in charge of building her region’s sales...(register to read more)