Employees are guaranteed only 12 weeks’ unpaidper year and have no right to return to their jobs if they can’t make it back after their time is up. But that doesn’t mean you should prepare the paperwork to terminate the employee on the day their leave expires. Wait until you get medical documentation showing the employee can’t return.
Here’s why: An employee can sue for retaliation for takingleave if the employer decided to terminate before it knew the employee wasn’t physically fit to return to work. Employees can prove that’s the case by presenting such evidence as internal memos and even date stamps on returned medical forms.
Recent case: Karen Bryson worked for Supercuts, a chain of beauty salons, for 15 years. She hurt her knee and needed surgery during the busy Christmas season. Her supervisor expressed anger at Bryson’s absence and was heard telling co-workers that Bryson wouldn’t have a job to return to.
The company terminated Bryson on the very day she was scheduled to return and before it got her doctor’s back-to-work certification. In fact, that letter didn’t even arrive until five days later, according to the company’s date stamp.
Bryson sued, claiming Supercuts retaliated against her for taking FMLA leave. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said Bryson should get a jury trial, even though the trial court tossed out her case.
The appellate court said a retaliation case turns on the employer’s motive. If the employee can prove animosity because she took leave (through co-worker testimony and the date stamp showing the employer didn’t yet know the employee couldn’t return), then she may be able to prove retaliation. A jury now will decide whether that’s the case here. (Bryson v. Regis Corp., No. 06-5137, 6th Cir., 2007)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3511/dont-fire-before-knowing-employee-cant-return-from-leave "
- How to handle disabled applicants who bring a 'Job coach' to the interview
- States take the lead in contractor misclassification crackdown
- HR pro on trial: 'Cat's paw' individual liability under Section 1981
- Don't editorialize about merits of employee complaints
- Craft strategy to retain your best employees