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FMLA rights don’t extend beyond termination date

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The right to take FMLA leave ends when employment ends. Thus, an employer that informs an employee she will be laid off on a specific date has met its FMLA obligation if it subsequently approves FMLA leave before that date and terminates it on the last scheduled day of work.

Recent case: Marie learned her employer was undergoing a major reorganization. She and co-workers in the same job classification would be terminated as of July 9.

On June 24, she submitted an FMLA application. It was approved the next day and she began leave. She was terminated on July 9.

Marie sued, alleging interference with her right to 12 weeks of FMLA leave. The court dismissed her lawsuit, reasoning that once employment ends for an unrelated reason, the right to FMLA leave also ends. (Douyon v. NYC Department of Education, No. 15-3932, 2nd Cir., 2016)

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