A lateral transfer without a loss in benefits or responsibilities is not an adverse employment action. The court observed that “not everything that makes an employee unhappy is an actionable adverse action.”
A mother armed with a doctor’s note requested an FMLA leave to help coach her daughter during childbirth. The Court found that pregnancy is not a serious health condition for FMLA purposes unless there are complications.
The FMLA regulations state that “Employees cannot waive … their rights under the FMLA.” The Fifth Circuit has ruled that an employee can release the right to sue for damages under the FMLA as part of an otherwise enforceable general release.
A model employee for four years started sleeping on the job. When called after leaving early, he mumbled odd phrases to his boss and his sister said he was very sick. A jury could reasonably find that his unusual behavior was due to a medical condition that triggered FMLA rights.
On the same day, the Eighth Circuit held that Congress clearly intended States to be covered by Title VII and the Eleventh Circuit found that sovereign immunity protects States from FMLA claims. Both Courts looked to legislative intent to determine if sovereign immunity applied.
A manager had a long history of medical leaves. He missed an important meeting because of a sinus infection and a toothache. His firing did not violate the FMLA because he did not have a serious medical condition.
In January a hospital employee notified her employer that she was pregnant and would be taking a leave in July – more than 12 months after her hire. She was fired two weeks after requesting a leave. “An employee is not barred from proceeding with a retaliation claim under the FMLA if he or she has been employed for less than twelve months but requests leave to begin more than one year after employment commenced.”
An employee sought to extend a 30 week leave by 30 days. Her employer said no. The employer sued alleging the 30 weeks leave was not designated as an FMLA leave. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the employer.
A nurse informed her employer that a doctor had put her on leave for about a month. The employer was aware of the employee’s symptoms, which included vomiting and chest pains. The employee was fired after failing to provide a doctor’s note within 15 days. The employer violated the FMLA by not providing written notice about the FMLA.