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Some employees think that once they are approved for FMLA leave, they don’t have to follow the same rules as other employees when they’re away from work. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, employers are free to create call-in policies that require employees who are going to be absent to phone daily—and they can include employees on FMLA leave in that policy.
The EEOC has determined that the Houston Fire Department subjected firefighter Jane Draycott to a hostile work environment when it failed to address her complaints of sex discrimination and retaliation. That finding could prove costly to the city of Houston, since Draycott is suing the department.
Some employees are so angry about perceived supervisor discrimination and harassment that they want the offending boss to suffer personally. They’ll often try to sue their supervisors directly. Fortunately, that doesn’t work for Title VII discrimination lawsuits.
Employers have an obligation to prevent sexual harassment and to end it when it does occur. But many times, what a thin-skinned employee considers harassment isn’t actually serious enough to rise to that level. When that happens, smart employers exercise patience. They understand the very real danger of winning a sexual harassment case but losing the retaliation case that follows.
It’s a fact of life: Unhappy applicants, employees and former employees tend to sue. There’s not much you can do about that. However, you can be prepared to react quickly as soon as you learn of a lawsuit. The key is having complete documentation of all employment decisions.