Don’t be afraid to terminate employees who have just returned from—as long as you have good reasons that are unrelated to the .
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. 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)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Must employers pay doctors to fill out FMLA forms?
- Court rules on early FMLA protection: Never fire for requesting leave in advance
- Even if managers go rogue, you can defend terminations by conducting independent review
- Wait before saying yes