Some lawsuits are based on just a few careless comments from a supervisor. That’s especially true in cases involving employees who take time off under the
Managers who refer to these problems as “distractions” and comment on their impact on the workplace are inviting employees to sue for retaliation or interference with their .
Recent case: Benjamin Erickson worked as a train conductor and applied for a training program that would end in a promotion to engineer. Erickson had used a few years earlier when his mother became ill, and later when he developed skin cancer.
Erickson should have completed the training program in 26 weeks, but because his mother again became ill, he took more FMLA leave. Then, he contacted the company about suffering from attention-deficit disorder and depression.
The railroad extended his training program by the amount of time he took for FMLA leave. However, his immediate supervisor began making negative comments. He asked Erickson whether he was “finally done with the FMLA.” He also referred to Erickson’s “personal problems” as a “distraction.” Erickson then called in sick, missing the last day of his training. The railroad booted him from the program.
Erickson sued, alleging that he had been punished for taking FMLA leave. The court, after hearing about the supervisor’s comments, ordered a trial. It wrote that the personal problems referenced “aren’t distractions, they are part of the reason [Erickson] took FMLA leave.” Treating such personal problems so casually could demonstrate that the company resented his FMLA leave and that resentment entered into its decision to expel him from the training program on the last day. (Erickson v. Canadian Pacific Railway, No. 06-3734, DC MN, 2008)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/4956/warn-managers-personal-problems-arent-distractions "
- The 6 kinds of terminations ... and how to avoid lawsuits for each one
- Follow up after bias complaint to make sure employee isn't experiencing retaliation
- Raise your skepticism level to smoke out resume lies
- EEOC nets largest-ever age-discrimination settlement
- Labor Dept: FMLA still a struggle but not a major growth barrier