Taking FMLA into Account Could Create Liability
An ICU nurse who left her hospital and subsequently took leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) at her new employer was suspicious when she was not rehired for multiple positions she applied for at her former employer.
The former employer claimed the reason for not considering her was that she had left an unprofessional voicemail with crying and profanity. She alleged that the voicemail was merely an inquiry into the status of the hiring process and not unprofessional at all. She claimed the real reason for rejecting her applications was her use of FMLA at the new employer. Since the voicemail message was not saved, and there was no mention of it in the former employer’s records, they will have to defend their actions in court (Coleman v Redmond Park Hospital, LLC, 11th Cir, Oct. 2014).
Tips: Remember that the use of FMLA is protected. Employers cannot take FMLA use into consideration at any stage of the employment relationship.
For more information, review our other leave law blogs and see our Legal Guide, “At a Glance: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).” Also, good documentation and recordkeeping in the hiring process is essential in order to defend against claims for failure to hire. For example, see our Model Form, “Interview Log.”
Get in touch with your Vigilant representative for more employment law resources and information on staying compliant in California, Oregon and Washington.