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Temp better than employee? Terminate with care

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in Discrimination and Harassment,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Sometimes, work actually goes better when a temp replaces an employee who’s out on leave. You might even think about keeping the temp and dumping the incumbent. Watch out!

Recent case: Stephen James, who is black, worked as a detailer for a car dealership. His employer transferred him to a different location after he was disciplined for sloppy work.

James went out on FMLA leave following knee surgery and took additional leave when his FMLA entitlement expired. Meanwhile, another employee took over his job and apparently did much better work. When James returned, the dealership fired him.

James sued, alleging race discrimination and FMLA violations. The dealership won, partly because James no longer had an FMLA case once his leave expired. Therefore, he had no right to reinstatement. (James v. Sutliff Saturn, No. 09-1081, MD PA, 2010)

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