“Whoops” is no excuse under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Employers have to be very careful about terminating employees for abusing their family and medical leave. That’s according to a California appellate court in Los Angeles.  An employer had fired an employee whom it believed was using his leave to work another job. The employer turned out to be wrong, and the court held that it had to pay the employee damages.

Ordinarily an employer who discharges an employee whom it truly believes engaged in misconduct is not liable for wrongful termination. For example, an employer may fire an employee for spreading lies that another employee is sexually harassing her. The employer has not retaliated against her even if it turns out that she was right and the employer’s belief that she was lying was stupid. So long as its stupid belief is in good faith, it is not liable.

Termination for family and medical leave is different. The employer’s mistake cannot eliminate the employee’s right to leave. (But the employer can still terminate the employee for reasons having nothing to do with the leave).

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s