Mitchell Pollack & Associates PLLC
Your Solution Starts With A Phone Call
866-400-7388

Fighting a wrongful termination suit under FMLA


The Family and Medical Leave Act, also called FMLA, permits employees to take up to 12 weeks of protected unpaid leave during a one-year period in order to attend to the care of the actual employees or some of their closely related family members. Though some conditions do apply as to which employers are subject to FMLA, individuals in New York and across the country who take FMLA must be allowed to return to their jobs in the same position or a similar position to the one that they left.

An employee of Nestle USA Incorporated was fired after taking FLMA leave to care for his father. He sued Nestle under the law for what amounted to his believed wrongful termination. A federal district court ultimately dismissed the man's claims and granted summary judgment to Nestle.

The facts of this situation are interesting. The man had worked for Nestle for approximately two years before requesting FMLA leave to take care of his ailing father. During the prior two years the man had received some disciplinary punishment for dishonesty and absenteeism. His supervisor became suspicious of his conduct after the man asked to take a floating holiday and had the request denied, only to immediately request the same day off with FLMA leave.

Nestle investigated the man's requests and followed up with his father's doctor only to find out that the father had not had appointments on the days the man took off. The company later learned that the man had attended entertainment events during some of the alleged FMLA time. As a result of Nestle's findings, the man was fired.

While this case does demonstrate an instance where an employee may have taken advantage of FLMA leave, it is important that employees who are eligible for FMLA understand that taking leave to care for themselves and qualified others is their right under federal law. Employers who fail to allow their employees to take FMLA or who fire their employees for using FLMA leave can be held legally accountable for their actions in employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases.

Source: Bloomberg Law, "Judge Finds Nestle Had Honest Belief Fired Worker Used FMLA Leave to Golf, Eat," Jay-Anne B. Casuga, August 15, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Ready To Resolve Your Legal Issues

You have a business to run. The team at Mitchell Pollack & Associates is ready to tackle your legal needs so you can focus on your responsibilities. Call 866-400-7388 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Tarrytown Office
150 White Plains Road
Suite 310
Tarrytown, NY 10591

Toll Free: 866-400-7388
Phone: 914-610-3418
Fax: 914-332-9191
Map & Directions

Mahwah Office
220 Franklin Turnpike
Mahwah, NJ 07430

Toll Free: 866-400-7388
Phone: 914-610-3418
Fax: 201-529-4400
Map & Directions