You have personal liability under FMLA and ERISA

Here’s food for thought: HR professionals and managers who terminate an employee for trying to get the benefits he is due under the FMLA or a company benefit plan are personally liable for the resulting harm.

Recent case: When Dmitry Narodetsky needed surgery, his wife called HR to discuss his FMLA options. The same day—while Narodetsky was away from the office—managers conducted a forensic search of his computer.

Narodetsky was then called in to a meeting before he could begin medical leave and told he was being fired for sending an offensive e-mail.

Narodetsky sued everyone involved in his termination in their individual capacities. His claim: That under the FMLA and ERISA, anyone trying to interfere with an employee’s right to get those benefits employees are due can be held personally liable. The court agreed with Narodetsky. (Narodetsky v. Cardone Industries, No. 09-4734, ED PA, 2010)