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)
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- 10 Secrets to an Effective Performance Review
- A gray area: What to do when older workers start to coast
- Putting employee on FMLA leave: Who decides?
- Can individual employees be liable for FMLA violations? 4th Circuit may decide
- Notify staff how you count FMLA year