Both the Third and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal issued decisions last month reminding employers that providing proper notices to employees is a key to administering the FMLA. In Wallace v. FedEx Corporation, the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling that the employer interfered with its employee’s FMLA rights when it failed to

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!

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”