As you know, taking FMLA leave can’t completely shield an employee from termination, especially when the person’s performance warrants him or her being fired. But the FMLA very much complicates the matter. So what do you need to be able to safely let under-performing FMLA-takers go?
Answer: Documented evidence that the employee isn’t meeting performance standards.
A recent lawsuit in which the employer’s decision to terminate an employee on intermittent FMLA leave was upheld by a federal appeals court provides a good example of when it’s permissible — and what it takes — to safely let these kinds of workers go.
Multiple stints of FMLA
Elizabeth Burciaga sued her employer, Ravago Americas LLC for FMLA retaliation after she was terminated following several FMLA-related absences.
Burciaga was a customer service representative, who was responsible for contacting sales representatives and customers, receiving and processing orders, scheduling shipments, and resolving customer issues.
She’d been at Ravago for five years, and was considered one of Ravago’s more experienced customer service representatives.
Earlier on in her employment with Ravago, Burciaga had taken FMLA leave on two separate occasions for the birth of her children.
Then, a about year after her last leave, she requested intermittent FMLA leave to help care for her son. Her request was granted, and she took several days off on a somewhat sporadic basis to care for her son.
Ravago never expressed any concerns about Burciaga taking leave.
Mistakes crept in…. Click HERE to full article…
(article courtesy of HRMorning.com)