An employee who takesis entitled to return to her old job or an equivalent one when she’s ready to return to work.
But what if the employee can’t perform her old job, perhaps because of lingering health problems? Reassign her.
Recent case: Victoria Lamarca worked as a cable splicer for Verizon for many years, beginning in 1978. She was injured several times. The last time she returned to work after takingleave, she was unable to pass a pole-climbing test and was reassigned to a less strenuous job.
She received the same pay and benefits but sued anyway. The court tossed out her case, reasoning that she couldn’t be assigned to the same job. (Lamarca v. Verizon, No. 09-203, WD PA, 2010)
Final note: The company did the right thing by finding Lamarca a new job with the same compensation.
- Handle absence problems correctly; learn ADA, FMLA interplay
- Is FMLA leave optional when employee has adequate sick leave to cover her absence?
- Beware discipline after return from FMLA leave
- Know the right way to request FMLA certification, fitness-for-duty notices
- Tell employee the complete reason for firing.