Concluding that the employer’s failure to notify a pregnant employee of her FMLA rights and to reinstate her to her former position or any other equivalent position after taking leave unlawfully interfered with her FMLA rights, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Clements v. Prudential Protective Services, LLC, reversed a district court finding of summary judgment in the employer’s favor.
Continue Reading Don’t Play Fast and Loose with FMLA rights!

In Deleon v. Kalamazoo Cnty. Road Comm’n, a split Sixth Circuit panel concluded that the district court improperly granted the employer summary judgment on the plaintiff’s discrimination claims despite the fact that the alleged adverse employment action was a transfer that the plaintiff had actively sought only nine months earlier.
Continue Reading Sometimes An Employer Just Can’t Win

For some, snowflakes bring thoughts of snowmen and sleigh rides. For others, they signal the beginning of closed business days, employees arriving late to work, and all sorts of other issues—all the result of inclement weather! Since many parts of the United States are currently dealing with the effects of, what-is-being-called, the “Polar Vortex,” we decided to take a look at some common headaches for employers caused by bad weather and provide you with some helpful guidance.
Continue Reading Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful! How Employers Can Handle the Impact of Inclement Weather (Polar Vortex Anyone?) and What NIOSH, OSHA, the NLRA and the FLSA Have to Say About It

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) prohibits more than just retaliation — it also prohibits interference. More specifically, the FMLA provides: “it shall be unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise, any right provided” by the FMLA and interference claims arise when an employer’s actions prevent or interfere with an eligible employee’s rights under the FMLA. 29 USC § 2615.

Two recent Ohio district court cases highlight just how important it is for employers to keep the interference provision in mind when navigating employee FMLA requests.
Continue Reading Two Ohio Cases Highlight That When It Comes to the FMLA, Employers Need to Set Their Radars to Detect Potential Interference Claims

I have to admit that I generally love it when a federal court judge begins an opinion with a flourish like this: “December 20, 2011, was defining day for Appellant Angela Powell-Pickett.” Almost made me think of Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (OK, maybe not quite.) But I knew from that first line in the court’s opinion in Angela Powell-Pickett v. A.K Steel Corporation would be a good one. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Does Not Permit Amnesiac Plaintiff to Revive Memory Via Contradictory Affidavit

Two Sixth Circuit decisions issued last week underscore the hazards associated with terminating an employee between the time that she announces her pregnancy and any time shortly after she returns from pregnancy leave. Fortunately, both decisions, which uphold lower court summary judgment decisions, also demonstrate that an employer can escape liability when it has valid reasons for the termination, even when the termination was made at a time that was temporally close to the pregnancy announcement or the pregnancy itself.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Upholds Summary Judgment for Employers in Two Cases Brought by Terminated Pregnant Employees

The DOL recently issued its final regulations regarding expansion of military caregiver and qualifying exigency leave and regulations affecting flight crews. These new rules take effect this Friday, March 8. We covered these rules when they were initially proposed by the DOL.
Continue Reading New FMLA Forms and Poster to Be Used on March 8, 2013; Employers Should Review and Change FMLA Policies Consistent with New Rules

We hope you enjoyed our five-part series last week addressing the Top 5 Holiday Headaches for Employers. Due to popular demand, we have compiled this series into an eBook for you and have added a special bonus: Three FMLA Stocking Stuffers: How to Avoid a Big Lump of Coal
Continue Reading ‘Tis the Season For Holiday Workplace Issues – Download our Holiday eBook with FMLA Stocking Stuffer – “Three FMLA Holiday Stocking Stuffers: How to Avoid a Big Lump of Coal”

The summary judgment decision issued on October 31st by Ohio federal district court judge David Dowd in Barnett v. Aultman Hospital contains important reminders for both private employers and their employees. For employers, there is the reminder that they are not bound by the First Amendment’s protections for free speech. And for employees: Always remember to confirm that your supervisor actually has been fired before going to Facebook to celebrate.
Continue Reading Ohio Federal District Court Rejects Public Policy Wrongful Termination Claim Against Private Employer Based On First Amendment