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)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Train supervisors on proper handling of FMLA return-to-work certifications
- Can I ask my employees to use accrued leave to cover time spent on jury duty?
- Feel free to deny FMLA leave to employee who alters medical certification
- EEOC issues employer best practices on work/family balance