Employees onsometimes think they’re immume from being discharged. That’s not true. As long as leave isn’t a factor in the decision, you can fire those on leave.
Recent case: Robert was the highest-paid employee working on a family-owned pig farm. His job was to oversee swine husbandry. After hurting his shoulder, he took FMLA leave for rotator cuff surgery.
While he was off, the farm had to make layoff decisions. It reduced the pig stock and consolidated operations. It also cut some employees, including Robert. He sued, alleging interference with FMLA leave.
But he had no proof that he was selected because he was on FMLA leave. Instead, the court accepted the farm’s explanation that Robert was the most highly paid (and lowest performing) employee. (Winterhalter v. Dykhuis Farms, No. 11-17-1743, 6th Cir., 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Employer gets to choose ADA reasonable accommodation
- Don't consider FMLA leave when tallying employee's 'excessive' absences
- Consider more leave, different job as ADA accommodation after FMLA leave expires
- Worker returning from FMLA leave? You can refuse to reinstate