If an employee loses a case in state court and then doesn’t appeal, he can’t just march into federal court.
Recent case: Jadwiga Warwas worked two jobs for two different New Jersey municipalities. She tookfrom her job in Plainfield, using accumulated paid leave. She continued working for the city of Paterson from home. That prompted Plainfield to fire her.
Warwas challenged her dismissal before a state administrative law judge. Then she filed a second federal lawsuit alleging that Plainfield had interfered with her right toleave.
The court tossed out the case, reasoning that she should have appealed her state case lawsuit rather than file a separate federal claim. (Warwas v. Plainfield, No. 07-4431, DC NJ, 2011)
- Taking FMLA leave may rule out performance bonus
- Department of Labor to study FMLA usage; may signal more upcoming regulatory changes
- Prepare for legal trouble when bosses play detective with employees on FMLA leave
- Beware body language discouraging FMLA
- You can reassign employee whose spouse made FMLA claim