Contrary to apparent popular belief, employees who have recently taken leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can be terminated for legitimate reasons unrelated to their FMLA leave.  Establishing a non-retaliatory termination in these circumstances can be challenging, however.  The timing of the termination alone can “look” retaliatory, and even a well thought

A United States District Court in Florida thwarted an employer’s attempt to toss the FMLA claims of an employee who sued after his medical condition was disclosed to co-workers who subsequently made fun of him.  The employee requested FMLA leave after he developed a chronic condition with his genito-urinary system.  The leave request was approved

Perhaps not, according to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Not all retaliation is the same, the court reminds us in its December 14, 2016 decision in Chase v. U.S. Postal Service. Evidence that a supervisor retaliated because of an employee’s workers’ compensation claim does not itself prove the supervisor also retaliated because the employee took concurrent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Mocking an employee’s allegedly fake injury does not necessarily show hostility toward use of FMLA leave.
Continue Reading Does Calling Someone an “Injury Compensation Specialist” Prove FMLA Retaliation?

The Supreme Court held this week that a plaintiff bringing a retaliation claim under Title VII must establish that the adverse employment action would not have occurred “but-for” an improper motive on the employer’s part, rejecting the lesser “motivating factor” standard.  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, (USSupCt,  June 24, 2013.  This

Whether a supervisor mistreated the plaintiff after he returned from his second leave of absence, causing him to need a third leave, is irrelevant to his FMLA retaliation claim because “[e]xacerbation is not a valid theory of liability under the FMLA” according to the Seventh Circuit.  Breneisen, Jr. and Lineweaver v. Motorola, Inc. (7th Cir.

Add the Second Circuit to the chorus of circuits to apply the Supreme Court’s standard for Title VII retaliation claims to FMLA retaliation claims as well. In its 2006 Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad Co v. White decision, the Supreme Court expanded the definition of “materially adverse employment action” for purposes of Title VII retaliation.

Sometimes a case makes you wonder. Bruce Casanova, a former American Airlines baggage handler, told the jury he lied to American and feigned forgetfulness in an “Article 29F” investigation of his work related injury, and refused to provide a written statement concerning the circumstances of his injury as required by the collective bargaining agreement