To be eligible under theAct, an employee must have at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12 months. But be careful about which 12-months-back you are counting.
The 6th Circuit threw out an employer's argument that an employee was ineligible forbecause she had not reached the required 1,250 hours of service in the 12 months leading up to her post-leave firing. But the court said that the required 1,250 hours of service must be computed from the date the employee's leave began, rather than from the date the employee was terminated.
Under the company's flawed reasoning, the court said, an employee returning from 12 weeks ofcould be fired immediately because, at the time of her return, she was no longer "eligible." (Butler v. Owens-Brockway Plastic Products Inc., No. 99-3065, 6th Cir., 1999)