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Employee out for one day probably ineligible for FMLA

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

It’s OK to fire someone whose medical problems clearly don’t qualify as a serious health condition under the FMLA.

Recent case: Lynn accumulated many unexcused absences; the next one, she would lose her job. Then Lynn slipped at home and cut her foot. She went to an urgent care clinic where doctors wrote an excuse for a day off. Lynn called in and explained that her note called for one day off. When she missed work, she was fired.

She sued, alleging that she should have been eligible for FMLA leave because she later developed complications with her foot.

The court dismissed her case. The employer was entitled to rely on her call stating that her medical provider didn’t think she had a serious health condition—since he only authorized one day off. (Brushwood v. Wachovia, No. 12-1438, 4th Cir., 2013)

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