Question: Your policy tells employees they can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave each year. But does your policy define “year”? If not, a court may do it for you—in the employee’s favor, of course …
Case in Point: Gayle Spencer, director of student affairs at a Detroit college, was hospitalized for complications of diabetes and pneumonia. She began heron Dec. 16, 2004 and remained on leave until March 18, 2005, when the college fired her.
She had been on leave more than the allowable 12 weeks. The school explained the firing by saying her leave was up and it didn’t have to hold her position any longer.
Not so fast. Spencer sued under the FMLA, arguing that she was entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in calendar year 2004 and another 12 weeks in calendar year 2005.
The college saw things differently. College officials said its FMLA “year” was based on a fiscal year starting J...(register to read more)