Beat FMLA suit by showing you would have fired anyway

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in Firing,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who have taken FMLA leave and then been fired often sue. However, all is not lost for ­employers faced with such a case—if they can show they would have fired the em­­ployee anyway. In fact, chances are, they’ll win.

Recent case: Ralph, a postal worker, was approved for intermittent FMLA leave. The post office had an elaborate call-in system. Employees called in and received a specific FMLA in­­termittent leave authorization code if the absence was covered.

When Ralph was fired, he argued he had been terminated for taking too much intermittent leave.

But the employer showed that even if it had counted some of his covered absences against him, he still missed enough time that wasn’t covered by his FMLA certification to warrant discharge. The court tossed out his case. (Gates v. United States Postal Service, No. 10-3735, 6th Cir., 2012)

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