An employee’s request to takecan be frustrating for supervisors who have to manage schedules and projects.
But if bosses voice those concerns in a way that seems angry or annoyed, they may be creating the perfect storm for aninterference lawsuit.
Remind your supervisors to accept FMLA requests professionally, without emotion.
Recent case: Velma Villalon, an admin for a Texas college, received rave reviews by a previous boss. But she didn’t get along with the new one. In fact, she got so upset over the conflict, she took a short FMLA leave for stress.
When she returned, the boss gave her a negative. She told him she needed to take several more weeks of FMLA leave. Shortly after, the boss fired her, citing .
Villalon sued, citing interference with her. In court, she described her boss’s reaction to her FMLA request. He allegedly said—in a way that clearly showed she was annoyed—“What am I going to do while you are gone?”
The court sent the case to trial, saying the supervisor’s negative reaction to FMLA requests can be used as evidence that the real reason for poor review and termination was the FMLA leave. (Villalon v. Del Mar College, No. C-09-252, SD TX, 2010)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- Follow the certification trail when you suspect employee is gaming medical leave
- Can we require employees to use accrued paid leave instead of FMLA leave?
- First suggestion needn't be last word: You're free to choose reasonable accommodation
- Termination for legitimate business reason trumps FMLA