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Making demands while employee is on disability leave

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. We have an employee on disability leave because she had dental reconstructive surgery due to oral cancer. Shortly after her return, her supervisor gave her a deadline to get her backlogged work done. It may not be a realistic deadline. If we discharge her, can we be in legal trouble? — Anonymous

A. Yes. If the employee can show that she was purposely set up to fail upon her return, she may have a case. Think about how this would look to a jury: While you couldn’t make her do her work while on leave, this looks as if you saved all the work for her return, with the hope that she’d fail and you could fire her. The jury may see that as retaliation for her FMLA leave.

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