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Always consider how jury might see retroactive actions

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in a long-running case that a jury acted properly when it concluded an employer’s retroactive termination of health insurance violated the FMLA.

Advice: Always think about how a jury will view your decisions.

Recent case:
Kathleen Ryl-Kuchar learned she was pregnant with triplets and began working from home. After giving birth, she went back to work.

Later, she asked for FMLA leave. That’s when her employer canceled her health insurance retroactively, ostensibly because it discovered she had fallen below full-time status when she worked from home. That left her with unpaid medical bills.

A sympathetic jury determined the employer had punished her for taking FMLA leave, and the 7th Circuit agreed. It said the jury’s conclusion was reasonable. (Ryl-Kuchar v. Care Centers, No. 08-2688, 7th Cir., 2009)

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