A former Drexel worker learned the hard way that returning from leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not always result in a warm welcome. The employee who returned to work after a wrist surgery and the passing of her mother was greeted with a performance review that cited her failures in accomplishing existing work prior to going on leave. The worker, angered that she received this criticism in lieu of condolences for her mother’s passing, announced her resignation on the spot. She then called and later emailed a supervisor announcing her resignation. The very next day, she wished to rescind her resignation, which Drexel denied, leading her to file a lawsuit claiming FMLA retaliation.
What is FMLA Retaliation?
FMLA retaliation occurs when a worker who has taken unpaid leave under the protection of the Family Medical Leave Act—be it for the birth or adoption of a child, a health issue, or the care of a loved one—faces discrimination or an adverse employment action such as demotion or decrease of salary. In the aforementioned case, the worker believed she was retaliated against for taking leave because other workers failed to offer their condolences and instead focused on her poor performance prior to her leaving.
The court ruled that the meeting that caused the woman to quit, while it was inherently disciplinary, was not discriminatory or retaliatory, as it did not affect her position or compensation. Another significant facet of the court’s ruling was that the two individuals with whom the employee was meeting were not supervisors, but rather co-workers who had no capacity to adversely affect her pay or position.
Furthermore, the plaintiff’s statements that her former employers “set her up” were in no way validated and were ruled as being conjecture. South Jersey employment lawyers stress the need for proper, continuous documentation for the success of a case such as this one.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers and McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Individuals in FMLA Retaliation Cases
If you or someone you know has been retaliated against for taking leave under FMLA, you may be entitled to compensation. FMLA retaliation is illegal and the offending parties may be held liable for their actions. At McOmber & Mcomber, we fight for the rights of employees and offer representation in all facets of employment law. Call our Marlton offices at 856-985-9800 or our Red Bank offices at 732-842-6500, or contact us online to speak with one of our qualified South Jersey employment lawyers.