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Don’t sweat a little confusion when worker returns from FMLA

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employers are obligated to reinstate employees to the same or an equivalent job when they return from FMLA leave.

If an employer has to move people and equipment around to cover the work during FMLA leave, it may be difficult to reintegrate the returning employee right away. That’s OK.

Minor delays aren’t enough to support an interference-with-FMLA-rights lawsuit.

Recent case: Merlyn Emmons took FMLA leave after a car accident. She returned as soon as she was healed—about two months later. She was placed in a new job, but her boss wasn’t quite ready with an office and equipment. Emmons sued, alleging interference with her right to reinstatement.

The court tossed out Emmon’s case. It reasoned that she had been denied no concrete benefit just because there were minor delays. (Emmons v. CUNY, No. 09-CV-537, ED NY, 2010)

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