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May we replace an employee on FMLA leave?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee on FMLA leave. Can we replace her and find a different job for her when she returns?  

A. You may replace your employee while she is on FMLA leave. However, if she returns at or before the end of her protected leave and is able to perform the essential functions of the job she held when the leave began, you must reinstate her to her former job or one that is equivalent in pay, benefits, seniority, duties, responsibilities and status.

Thus, it may be advisable to fill your employee’s position with a temporary worker and reinstate your employee to her previous job when she returns from FMLA leave.

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