Occasional Contacts Are Permitted Throughout an Employee’s FMLA Go away

Although employees cannot be required to work during the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) vacation, occasional contact with these employees is not a violation of the law, as the US Appeals Court for the Sixth District recently reiterated.

In blank v. Nationwide Corp. The employee was contacted by phone during the FMLA vacation to inform him that he had been demoted due to incidents that had occurred about a week and a half earlier that the company had investigated. He then filed a complaint with the company’s ethics office, believing the investigation was biased. A representative from the Office reached out to him for an initial intake and discussion and agreed not to contact him until he returned from his FMLA vacation. He then sued his employer, alleging, among other things, that contacting him during his FMLA vacation affected his vacation.

The Sixth District, however, dismissed the worker’s lawsuit, stating that “an employer can make minor contact with the employee on leave without violating his or her FMLA rights.” In this case, the call regarding his demotion had been established prior to his FMLA vacation and the remaining contact was in response to the complaint he had filed. The Sixth Circuit found that these minimal contacts did not prevent the employee from taking vacation or affect their ability to take vacation according to the FMLA.

While employees are on extended FMLA leave, the employer may need to contact them, e. Employers can contact these employees without violating the FMLA – but should take care that such contacts are kept to a minimum.

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