A FMLA warning for employers

Business Management Daily says it has been giving “sound business advice” for 75 years. The publication recently gave advice to employers who might be considering demoting a worker who is returning from a lengthy medical leave: pause.

Employers are urged to pause and to think carefully about whether that employee might have grounds on which to file a disability discrimination claim.

The publication says even if the worker’s leave exceeded the 12 weeks allowed under the Family Medical Leave Act, employers should tread carefully. If the company typically holds jobs open for those whose leave extends beyond 12 weeks, it might appear to be a case of disability discrimination if an employee returns and is demoted.

Business Management Daily cites the example of a longtime crafts store manager who had a history of positive job reviews and praise from both those above and below him on the corporate ladder.

After he transferred locations, his performance began to suffer with co-workers complaining that he was often inaccessible.

He then took 24 weeks of medical leave because of depression and anxiety. The company’s policy was to hold jobs open for up to 30 weeks of leave, so when he returned and was offered only part-time hourly work, he turned the offer down. He later filed a legal claim against the firm, alleging disability discrimination.

A court ruled that the claim could go forward to trial where it could be heard by a jury.

A Milwaukee employment law attorney can help you protect your job and your FMLA rights. Contact the law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c. to discuss your situation.


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