Supervisors should not Discourage Employees from using their FMLA

In Tennessee and across the United States, the Family Medical Leave Act allows an employee that is eligible for the leave to take it and prohibits employers or businesses from discouraging an employee from taking their leave. If you or someone you work with has been discouraged for any reason from taking your Family Medical Leave when you are eligible then you should talk to a Tennessee employment and FMLA lawyer as soon as possible. We will work with you and help to determine if you are entitled to compensation because of your employer’s actions concerning your Family Medical Leave.

In this case, Jack Bell worked for the Department of Health and Human Services as a disease intervention specialist. Bell suffered from severe allergies and ear problems. His doctors confirmed that Bell had a serious health condition and needed intermittent FMLA leave when his medical illness flared up. Bell was approved for four hundred and eighty hours of intermittent FMLA leave. When Bell often called in sick using his approved leave, this led the his work informing him that he would be placed on full time FMLA leave if he continued to use his intermittent leave and would have to get doctor’s authorization to begin working full time again. When Bell got the authorization from his doctor for full time work but continued to take his intermittent FMLA leave, his work with the county department placed him on full time FMLA leave. Bell claimed that there was no reason to use up his full time FMLA leave but after another work absence, he was terminated by the county department. Bell then filed a lawsuit against his work claiming that they were interfering with his right to FMLA leave and that he was facing retaliation for taking his leave.

After his work explained that they terminated Bell for excessive absences and did not hold us FMLA against him, his retaliation claim was thrown out. However, Bell’s claim that by his work telling him that he must take full time FMLA leave when he only needed to take intermittent leave, inferred with his right to take the leave was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court and sent back to trial. Bell claimed that his work wanted him to take full time FMLA leave so he would use it up and could then be terminated for absences that would have been covered by intermittent leave had he be allowed to use it.

Cases just like this happen to Tennessee employees as well as employees across the United States. If you or someone you work with feels that your employer or business has interfered with your right to take FMLA leave, then we strongly recommend that you contact one of our caring and experienced Tennessee employment and FMLA attorneys immediately. We will work with you to make sure you get the compensation that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

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