Discretionary leave OK as long as it’s equitable — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Discretionary leave OK as long as it’s equitable

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Do you have a program that allows some employees to take additional leave after they have exhausted FMLA leave and their earned sick and vacation time off?

That’s fine, as long as you set reasonable parameters for taking leave and enforce the rules fairly.

Recent case: Warren, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, earned so-so performance evaluations. One review said he needed improvement, while another admonished him for low productivity. He did earn one “satisfactory” rating.

Then Warren broke his elbow. Between his respiratory problems and the elbow, he took several medical leaves of absence, using up his available leave.

His employer had an additional discretionary program for employees experiencing health crises. It was available to those who had earned “exemplary” performance reviews. Warren applied, but was turned down. Then he was discharged.

He sued, alleging that he had been rejected because he was disabled.

But the employer showed the court that it had only approved discretionary leave for employees with excellent performance reviews. Warren’s case was tossed out. (Balgley v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, No. 14-CV-9041, SD NY, 2017)

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