by Lara C. de Leon, Esq., Ogletree Deakins, Orange County
A recent decision by the California Court of Appeal illustrates just how complicated and costly it can be to discipline an employee who is on protected leave.
In Alamo v. PracticeInformation Corp. (No. B230909, Court of Appeal of California, 2nd District, 2012), a former employee who was fired after returning from sued for .
On appeal, the California Court of Appeal rejected the employer’s arguments that the trial court committed errors when it:
- Instructed the jury that the employee had to prove her pregnancy-related leave was “a motivating reason” for her discharge
- Refused to instruct the jury that the employer could avoid liability under a mixed-motive defense by proving it would have made the same termination decision even if no discriminatory or retaliatory motive existed.
While on leave, an argument
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- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Good faith is the key to litigation-Proof employment decisions
- When employee has pregnancy complications, be prepared to consider ADA accommodations
- Tell managers: No discrimination for in vitro fertilization
- Make sure employee handbook supports compliance with leave laws