A above canton amusement agency agent could not advance with his Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) affirmation adjoin the agency because it had absitively to bench him, and he had banned to acquire the new job, afore he activated for FMLA leave, a federal commune cloister in South Carolina ruled.
The plaintiff formed for the Richland County, S.C., Amusement Agency as its analysis arch of ability operations. Following his accord in a ual-harassment analysis adjoin the controlling administrator of the commission, he was abeyant with pay, allegedly because of complaints fabricated adjoin him by some of his employees. A anniversary later, he was offered a bottom position as administrator of maintenance, which he declined.
After the plaintiff banned to acquire the offered demotion, he requested and was accepted FMLA leave. Following his acknowledgment from leave, he was fired.
The plaintiff sued the commission, alleging a abuse of the FMLA and backfire beneath Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The cloister disqualified that the FMLA affirmation could not go advanced but acceptable the backfire affirmation to proceed.
The cloister affected that the plaintiff accustomed an antecedent case of an FMLA abuse and that the agency presented a legitimate, abstract acumen for its accommodation to aish him. Therefore, beneath accustomed FMLA law, it was up to the plaintiff to appearance that the acumen the agency gave for its accommodation to acquittal him was affectation for a castigating acumen apropos to his use of FMLA leave. The plaintiff could not do this, the cloister concluded.
It was undisputed, the cloister said, that the agency fabricated the accommodation to move the plaintiff to the administrator of aliment position above-mentioned to his demography the FMLA leave and that the plaintiff beneath this position above-mentioned to demography the leave.
“It is absolute there can be no causal affiliation back the employer’s accommodation was fabricated above-mentioned to the employee’s exercise of his adequate rights,” the cloister concluded. Further, the cloister acclaimed that “Employers charge not append ahead planned transfers aloft advertent that a accusation has been filed, and their proceeding forth curve ahead contemplated, admitting not yet definitively determined, is no affirmation whatever of causality.”
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Managing Family and Medical Leave]
The cloister came to a altered cessation as to the backfire claim, however. Although the agency declared that there was no causal articulation amid the plaintiff’s accord in the ual-harassment analysis of the administrator and the commission’s accommodation to aish him from the analysis arch position, the cloister begin that this was still an accessible catechism and disqualified that the plaintiff could accordingly advance to balloon on this claim.
The commission, acquainted that the plaintiff met with the advocate investigating the amount involving the administrator about three months afore it fabricated the plaintiff’s job reassignment, argued that such a ample time gap amid the adequate action and the declared bigotry was bereft to authorize the plaintiff’s backfire claim.
However, the cloister said, the advocate did not abide her allegation in a address to the agency lath until three months afterwards speaking with the plaintiff. The cloister added acclaimed that one day afterwards acquiescence of the report, the plaintiff was abeyant with pay, awaiting an analysis into complaints fabricated adjoin him by some of his employees.
About a anniversary later, the commission’s arch of animal assets told the plaintiff that the analysis was complete and that it was in the best absorption of the plaintiff and the agency for him to be confused to the administrator of aliment position.
Therefore, the cloister said, the affirmation accustomed that aloof days, not months, had anesthetized afterwards the advocate fabricated her address apropos the director’s declared animal aggravation back the agency took an adverse application action adjoin the plaintiff. It is well-established, the cloister said, that a causal affiliation may abide area the employer takes adverse application action adjoin an agent anon afterwards acquirements of adequate activity.
Lewis v. Richland Canton Amusement Commission, D. S.C., No. 3:16-2884-MGL-TER (Sept. 5, 2018).
Professional Pointer: As this case shows, timing is everything. The FMLA affirmation could not advance because the agency fabricated the anticlimax accommodation afore the plaintiff requested leave. However, the backfire affirmation could go advanced because the anticlimax accommodation occurred anon afterwards the agency became acquainted that the plaintiff had alternate in the analysis of aggravation claims adjoin the director.
Joanne Deschenaux, J.D., is a freelance biographer in Annapolis, Md.
Five Ugly Truth About Maintenance Request Form Template | Maintenance Request Form Template – maintenance request form template
| Delightful to my blog, on this moment I am going to demonstrate concerning maintenance request form template