Employees can’t hide behind FMLA to dodge legitimate discipline — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Employees can’t hide behind FMLA to dodge legitimate discipline

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in Firing,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

A federal appellate court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a worker who claimed she was fired in retaliation for taking intermittent FMLA leave. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Shaneika Smith was fired for the most defensible of all reasons: She treated a customer badly.

The case is Smith v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (No. 11-10506, 5th Cir., 2012).

In the call-center hot seat

Shaneika Smith was a customer service representative for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. Her duties included answering customer calls and handling their complaints.

Smith received specific training on how to handle difficult customers—by maintaining a civil tone and assuring callers that their problems would be addressed. If customers became too difficult, Smith had been directed to transfer them to a designated representative or sales coach manager.

Smith took approved, intermittent FMLA leave for an undisclosed health condition...(register to read more)

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