In a bizarre legal twist, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a supervisor who was sued over his decision to terminate an employee for takingmay be personally liable for terminating her—despite the fact that the public employer may be immune to an lawsuit.
Recent case: Kristie sued her former boss at a state university after he approved her for FMLA leave and then fired her before she could return. He argued he was immune from personal liability as a state employee.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. It noted that Kristie might not be able to sue her actual employer because it could claim sovereign immunity from suit. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t sue her supervisor for firing her while on leave. (Bellow v. LeBlanc, No. 13-30075, 5th Cir., 2013)
- Understand, prepare to follow the new revised FMLA regulations
- Warn supervisors: They can be held personally liable in FMLA cases
- Calmly accept need for intermittent FMLA leave
- Beware firing ill employee after FMLA expires
- Beware ADA retaliation trap if employee asks for more time off after FMLA leave expires