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Worker back from FMLA? Beware making job changes

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

After an employee returns from FMLA leave, seemingly minor changes to his job can spell trouble. That’s especially true if the employee can show that a supervisor’s attitude toward him changed at that time.

Recent case: Best Buy employee Andrew Incorvati had a heart attack and took four weeks of FMLA leave to recuperate. When he returned to work, he alleged that his supervisor sent him an e-mail with photos of a mobility scooter and mocked him for having had a heart attack. The boss took away Incorvati’s company car, reduced his duties and finally fired him.

The judge said the supervisor’s conduct—plus the fact that Best Buy did nothing when Incorvati complained—pointed to possible discrimination against him because he took FMLA leave. (Incorvati v. Best Buy, No. 10-1939, DC NJ, 2010)

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