The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently delivered a series of setbacks to a Milwaukee company. Not only did the court uphold a jury's verdict against Miller Compressing Company, but it also ruled that the plaintiff's attorney fees must be paid.
In an earlier trial, the jury decided that Miller had retaliated against an employee who had taken family leave to care for her autistic son.
The woman had worked at Miller for 13 years when she asked in 2012 to work two days a week from home to care for her son. The FMLA leave was granted, though when the company began having financial troubles that summer, employees were told on a Friday that all workers would have to put in 40 hours on-site.
Human Resources told the woman that FMLA only covers doctor appointments and therapy. That following Monday, she told her supervisor that she had been unable to find help for her son and that she had to go home to care for him. The company considered her departure a resignation.
Later, the jury found that she had been fired without cause.
As you likely know, FMLA enables employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain reasons, including the care of a child with a serious health condition.
This is another situation in which courts had to make FMLA and Wisconsin statutes clear to an employer.
Far too often, companies violate FMLA and withhold benefits outlined in the law. A Milwaukee employment law attorney can help you protect those benefits, your rights and your job.