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Don’t change job duties on return from FMLA leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who take FMLA leave are entitled to return to their former jobs, or at least equivalent ones in terms of pay, responsibilities and the like. Ignoring that requirement and making job changes is the quickest way to an FMLA lawsuit.

Unless you are convinced you can absolutely prove that you would have changed the employee’s assignment even if she never went on leave, promptly restore her to her former job.

Recent case:
Laura Huck became pregnant with twins and needed about two weeks off to deal with complications. When she returned, she learned that her status had changed from exempt to hourly, her hours were altered and she had different duties.

She sued. The court said there was enough evidence that her employer had interfered with her FMLA rights to warrant a jury trial. (Huck v. Greenspan, No. 06-CV-14562, ED MI, 2009)

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