Terminations While on Family and Medical Leave: Risky but Potentially Defensible

Source: Kelly Collins Woodford, Marjorie L. Icenogle, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 65 no. 1, Spring 2014
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Employment attorneys and human resource professionals across the country have had “the call;” the call from a client who has hired a temporary replacement for Joe, an employee on Family and Medical Leave and, you guessed it, the client liked the replacement better. “Things are working a lot better around here without him; can I fire Joe?” the desperate caller wails. “Sure, if you want to get sued” comes the usual reply. But the strategic thinking client then retorts: “can we win?” There was a time when most employment professionals would have answered “probably not.” Decisions from the Seventh Circuit suggest those times are changing….