What qualifies as interference and retaliation under FMLA

Though the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed over 25 years ago, there are still numerous cases of employers, in Georgia and across the United States, that either don’t understand or don’t follow the law. In the past year, courts have ruled on dozens of cases and have determined that a number of different actions fall under interference or retaliation under the law.

U.S. courts have found the following actions to be FMLA interference:

  • Requesting an employee delay the start of the leave
  • Refusing to give an employee help completing the necessary paperwork
  • Requiring an employee to provide a doctor’s note for intermittent absences
  • Encouraging an employee to take the leave in full-day periods
  • Denying an employee time off after approving it, even if the employee is ineligible
  • Insisting an employee keep in contact with coworkers while on leave

Additionally, courts have found the following actions to be illegal retaliation:

  • Eliminating an employee’s job close to the time of leave, after a manager has made a negative remark about leave or when the employee is the only one affected
  • Firing an employee close to the time of leave for issues that have occurred before and not resulted in termination or for poor performance reviews related to protected absences

Issues that were not found to be interference by the courts include requiring an employee to come back early while on leave, a sincere belief that an employee has abused the leave by taking a trip and refusing to lower sales quotas for an employee on leave.

If you feel you’ve been discriminated against, you should review these latest findings. Understanding what the courts consider to be interference or retaliation might help you determine the best course of action. An attorney experienced in this area law may be able to advise you about the next steps to take to ensure that you can continue to provide for your family.