A federal court judge has ruled that a claim could be stated against an employer which failed to provide proper notice to an employee during her unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA.) The employee was discharged from her position when she failed to return to work after using all of her FMLA leave of 12 weeks. The employee brought legal action on the grounds that if she had been made aware of the exhaustion of her FMLA leave, she would have made arrangements to return to work on an earlier date.
The federal judge first concluded that the employer had specific obligations to provide the employee notice of the date on which her FMLA leave would be exhausted, as a matter of law. Its failure to do so constituted, on its face, a viable legal claim for “interference” with her protected FMLA rights.