Legal Issues

Discover wrongdoing during FMLA? Fire away

November 14, 2019
It’s natural to worry about terminating an employee who is out on FMLA leave. However, the FMLA does not prohibit employers from making employment decisions that they would have made anyway if the employee had never taken leave.

Superstar won’t behave? Feel free to fire

November 7, 2019
Sometimes, an employee does a great job, but an abrasive personality makes him more trouble than he is worth. Superior work skills and productivity insulate superstars from legitimate discipline or termination based on poor behavior.

Harassment victim told to put on your ‘big girl panties’

November 1, 2019
When an employee at a Walmart store in Rochester complained about sexual harassment, her managers took an unusual approach.

Territory bias was a million-dollar mistake

October 29, 2019
Here’s a warning for managers who assign sales or service territories to employees: Never make assumptions about who can best serve your customers on the basis of race, national origin or other protected characteristics.

Employee has seizure at work? Hold your fire

October 25, 2019
Workers who have episodes of seizures are protected by the American with Disabilities Act, which means it’s illegal to bump them off the payroll because of that brain disorder.

To sue for FMLA interference, employee must ask for FMLA leave

October 24, 2019
In order to claim an employer violated the FMLA by denying leave, the employee must have actually requested that leave. She doesn’t have to formally state, “I am requesting FMLA leave.” However, what she says must at least be understood as a request.

FMLA to care for worker’s mother-in-law?

October 11, 2019
Q. An employee who uses FMLA leave intermittently to care for her ailing father, sometimes says she uses it to take her mother-in-law to doctors’ appointments. Is that right?

Lessons from the Courts: November ’19

October 11, 2019
Employee is on crutches for a short term? Don’t even think of firing.

Supervisor’s name-calling enough for lawsuit

September 23, 2019
When a supervisor regularly calls employees derogatory names, that may be enough to move a discrimination lawsuit forward. It’s one reason you should warn all managers and executives that they must treat all subordinates with respect.

Keep It Legal: October ’19

September 13, 2019
Don’t “screen out” women with a bogus test.