Tammy Woolley: Employer will get whacked on employees’ comp, FMLA overlap | Columnists

While Ms. Ramji was still doing the physical therapy sessions, she saw her orthopedic surgeon (with her boss) again, who said her knee was much better and she was ready to go back to work. He noted that she had maximally improved medically and gave her a rating of zero disability.

Unknown to Ms. Ramji or any of her health care providers – but very well known to the boss who accompanied her to her doctor’s visits – HHS required employees to return to work for an “essential function test”.

Unsurprisingly, she failed the test and may have relapsed her knee condition. HHS fired her for failing the test.

Ms. Ramji didn’t file a lawsuit under the ADA so we can forget about that particular mole. The workers ‘comp claim was eventually settled, leaving no workers’ comp mole. But the big mole that HHS kept missing was the Family and Medical Leave Act mole.

HHS was an “insured employer” and had an eligible vacation under the FMLA. However, following the court’s decision, HHS never informed her of her right to FMLA leave.

How many FMLA moles did you find in this story? Here were some of me:

HHS was an FMLA-insured employer.

Ms. Ramji had been employed for at least 12 months, had worked 1,250 hours or more in the previous 12 months, and had not taken an FMLA vacation.

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