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Fix leave errors before they become expensive mistakes

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Make sure employees receive the leave they’re entitled to under Cali­­for­­nia’s Fair Employment and Hous­­ing Act (FEHA). If a supervisor terminates an employee under the mistaken belief she’s at-will and can be fired for poor attendance—when she’s really eligible for medical leave—fix the mistake immediately.

Recent case: Louise was injured in a car accident. When she returned to work two weeks later, her new boss had already processed paperwork to fire her for absenteeism.

Louise sued. The jury concluded she was entitled to a medical leave under FEHA and had been terminated for exercising her rights. She won $470,000 in damages.

The company appealed, but the award stood. (Pena v. CFL, No. A134753, California Court of Appeal, 1st Appellate District, 2013)

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