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No automatic FMLA leave for employer-caused condition

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in Discrimination and Harassment,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

A federal court has refused to expand the FMLA, rejecting an employee’s attempt to force automatic FMLA leave for a serious health condition allegedly caused by her employer.

Recent case: Ellen Quinn settled a sexual harassment claim with her employer. Then she learned that the attorney who represented her harasser was about to become her boss. Once on the job, Quinn said, he tried to make her life miserable. She became so anxious and depressed, she requested FMLA leave. But she wasn’t eligible because she hadn’t worked 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months.

Undeterred, she sued. Her attorney argued that the FMLA creates a new right for employees whose medical conditions were caused by their employers. That alleged right is automatic leave. However, the court dismissed the case. (Quinn v. St. Louis County, No. 09-1372, DC MN, 2010)

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