Just because someone has a serious health condition that qualifies for, it doesn’t always mean the condition is a disability. Serious health conditions under the are often temporary, and therefore not disabling. And merely approving someone’s FMLA request isn’t the same as admitting the employee is disabled.
Recent case: Lisa Price took 12 weeks of FMLA leave for stress she attributed to being short-staffed at work. She was terminated when she didn’t return at the end of the scheduled leave.
Price sued, alleging she had been fired for being disabled and that her employer admitted she was disabled when it approved her FMLA leave.
The court dismissed Price’s case, reasoning that she wasn’t disabled and her employer didn’t admit she was by approving leave. (Price v. Mount Sinai, No. 10-5232, 2nd Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Keep track of all time off! Authorized leave counts toward employees' FMLA eligibility
- Need to contact employee out on FMLA leave? Be sure to document reason for the call
- OK to fire slackers even if out on FMLA leave
- Feel free to deny FMLA leave to employee who alters medical certification