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Termination for legitimate business reason trumps FMLA

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employers can terminate an em­­ployee about to take FMLA leave if they have legitimate business reasons that have nothing to do with taking FMLA leave.

Recent case: Francis was a radiology technician who moonlighted as a bus driver. When he developed a hernia, he asked his radiology boss for help lifting patients and hinted he might need time off to have a hernia operation.

Two weeks later, Francis admitted to entering hours on his radiology practice time sheet  when in fact he had been driving his bus. He resigned in lieu of termination.

Then he sued, alleging interference with his right to take FMLA leave.

He lost. The court said it saw no connection between the hernia conversation and the discovery of his falsified records that led to his resignation. (Mathew v. North Shore, et al., No. 11-CV-6022, ED NY, 2013)

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