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With good reason, it’s OK to fire upon return from FMLA

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Hiring,Human Resources

Don’t be afraid to terminate employees who have just returned from FMLA leave—as long as you have good reasons that are unrelated to the FMLA.

Recent case: Cynthia Adams worked as a hospice nurse, visiting patients in their homes. She regularly took FMLA leave, and each time returned without incident.

But then, while she was on FMLA leave, a patient complained that Adams had displayed pictures of male genitalia on her cell phone. After the hospice investigated by interviewing patients, it decided to terminate Adams. However, it allowed her to finish her leave before informing her.

She sued, alleging retaliation for exercising her FMLA rights. The court tossed out the case, reasoning that the patient complaint would have warranted termination even if she hadn’t taken FMLA leave. (Adams v. Fayette Home Care and Hospice, No. 09-1368, WD PA, 2010)

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