A recent case determined that a man who was fired following surgery could
bring a claim under the
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The FMLA is a federal employment law that provides protection for eligible
employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from their jobs annually
under certain circumstances. These include, but are not limited to:
• When you have a serious health condition • To care for a family
member who has a serious health condition, and • For the birth of
or care of a newborn or adopted child.
If you are eligible for leave and follow all notice requirements, the FMLA
protects you from adverse employment actions. This means that your employer
cannot interfere with your rights to take FMLA leave by denying your request
or requiring notice or disclosures beyond those required by the act. It
also means that your employer must restore you to your job after your
FMLA leave has ended. Additionally, the FMLA protects employees from retaliation.
This means that if your employer takes negative actions against you after
asking for leave, you may have a claim for FMLA retaliation.
If you believe your employer has interfered with your FMLA rights or has
retaliated against you for requesting leave, you may be able to file an
FMLA lawsuit. An experienced
Atlanta Family and Medical Leave attorneycan provide crucial advice regarding your rights.
Shaffer v. American Med. Ass’n, the AMA was preparing to reduce the size of its budget and downsize each
of its departments. In late October, the decision was made to let one
employee go. A few weeks later, William Shaffer, an employee of the American
Medical Association, notified the association that he was having knee
replacement surgery and was planning to take a four to six week leave
and file a claim for short-term disability benefits. Shaffer’s supervisor
then changed his decision regarding whom to fire and terminated Shaffer.
The supervisor then sent his higher-up an email stating, “The team
is already preparing for Bill’s short-term leave in January, so
his departure should not have any immediate impact.”
In reviewing the managers action, Judge Ann C. Williams noted that the
combination of the supervisor’s “11th hour” decision
to terminate Shaffer, along with his actions to create a “paper
trail ” masking any unlawful conduct could constitute a violation
of the FMLA.
The FMLA was created to protect individuals in time of crisis, when you
or a family member is in need of medical care. If your employer either
denies your request to take leave or retaliates against you as a result
of your request, you may be able to file a FMLA lawsuit and recover compensation.
For more information contact the experienced
Atlanta Family and Medical Leave attorneys at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for a confidential consultation.