Track all leave taken, even after FMLA ends

If you generously provide extra leave for employees who run out of FMLA leave, be sure to document it. Should the employee later accuse your organization of FMLA retaliation, the fact that you approved subsequent leave can demonstrate your good faith.

Recent case: Patrick took his full FMLA leave entitlement when he developed hip bone spurs. When he returned to work, he still experienced occasional pain. From time to time he asked for more leave. Then, about six months later, Patrick’s employer terminated him. He sued, alleging retaliation for taking FMLA leave.

The court tossed out Patrick’s claim, reasoning that since his return from FMLA leave, his employer had provided more time off without hassle. That persuaded the court the employer didn’t hold the earlier leave against Patrick. (Linderman v. Reading Truck Body, ED PA, 2017)