When employees lose their jobs, they often look for a reason to sue. After all, they have little to lose.
One common tactic is to argue that a layoff was used as an excuse to get rid of “unproductive” employees, especially those who take advantage of their right to.
That’s why HR must develop a performance-appraisal system that documents that having takenleave wasn’t a factor when you evaluated employees’ work. That may require adjusting yearly goals, sales quotas and task-completion rates based on the time lost to FMLA leave.
The objective is to create a clear paper trail showing that you took care to make sure no one considered FMLA leave as a negative performance factor.
It helps to work with the employee at evaluation time so you can jointly arrive at a fair evaluation that doesn’t penalize the employee for taking leave.
Recent case: Thomas Palmer worked for Harvey Gerstman Associates. When he underwent quadruple bypass surgery, he was out on FMLA leave for about two months. He returned with no restrictions except a temporary ban on more than six hours of work per day.
At evaluation time, Palmer’s supervisor wanted to use a recent audit of a store Palmer had managed as a negative factor. When Palmer pointed out that the audit unfairly covered events that happened when he was off work, his supervisor reconsidered. The audit was not used. Still, Palmer scored a 3.0 for the year.
Palmer lost his job in a layoff based on his score and a co-worker’s score of 4.0. He sued, alleging retaliation.
But the court tossed out the case. It reasoned that the company hadn’t used FMLA leave as a negative factor at all. (Palmer v. Harvey Gerstman Associates, No. 1:09-CV-01883, MD PA, 2011)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/29863/ensure-fmla-leave-doesnt-affect-evaluations "