Placing an employee on forced leave can form the basis for a lawsuit, according to a recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. That’s true even if the forced leave is consistent with company policy and applies to all employees.
Recent case: Svetlana, who is black, worked as a part-time stocker at Walmart three nights a week, a job that requires employees to be able to lift 50 pounds. When Svetlana became pregnant, her supervisor worked with her informally so she could stock aisles with light items, such as toothbrushes.
She had a miscarriage, but soon became pregnant again. This time, her doctor immediately restricted her to lifting no more than 10 pounds, which meant that she could not stock any aisle in the store. She demanded a transfer to a light-duty position such as folding clothes.
HR explained that employees unable to perform their jobs had to take a temporary leave of absence unless they were disabled and needed...(register to read more)