SW Legal studies in Business

Employees Must Follow FMLA Leave Guidelines
Description

Appeals court held that employees who failed to follow proper FMLA leave guidelines set by their employer cannot, after the fact, claim they had a right to FMLA leave. Since the employees were fired for excessive absences, and they could not show FMLA violations, they have no claim.

Topic Employment Law
Key Words

Family and Medical Leave Act; Filing Requirements

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

The Taylors both worked for Ameritech. Both had a record of absenteeism and both lost their jobs. After they were fired, they contended that some of the days they were absent should be under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as the days absent were related to medical matters. Ameritech required FMLA claims to be filed within 20 days of the leave taken. The employee must include a “Certification of Health Care Provider,” which is evidence of the medical purpose of the leave. The Taylors did not do that and lost their FMLA claims. The district court held for the employer. The Taylors appealed.

Decision

Affirmed. The employer’s requirements of how an employee filed for FMLA leave was clear. Employees had 20 days to submit proper evidence of the suitability of such leave. This procedure was within the FMLA guidelines. Failure by employees to follow the rules means their right to apply for FMLA leave was lost, so there is no cause of action for violation of FMLA rights.

Citation Taylor v. Ameritech, 523 F.3d 814 (7th Cir., 2008)

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