A Capehart Scatchard Blog


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.

Volunteer Firefighters May Be Employees under FMLA

By on February 7, 2014 in FMLA with 0 Comments
Volunteer Firefighters May Be Employees under FMLA

The City of Gibraltar employed 41 employees, excluding its “volunteer” firefighters.  When it fired one of the firefighters, Paul Mendel, he sued under the FMLA. The city countered that it was not covered under the FMLA because it had less than 50 employees. There were 25-30 “volunteer firefighters” whom the City contended were not truly […]

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Employer May Have Violated ADA and FMLA Rights of Employee in Terminating Her Under Discipline Policy

By on September 27, 2013 in ADA, FMLA with 0 Comments

Nancy Haley worked as a Registered Nurse for Community Mercy Health Partners doing business as Springfield Regional Medical Center (hereinafter SRMC).  She began there in June of 1978.  In November 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent two surgical procedures.  She took approximately five and a half weeks of FMLA leave during this […]

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Failure to Provide FMLA Notice Dooms Employer’s Effort to Terminate Employee for Excessive Use of Leave

By on August 8, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

The case of Young v. Wackenhut Corporation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14414 (D. N.J. Feb. 1, 2013) demonstrates the importance of providing required FMLA notice to eligible employees. Jacqueline Young, a Payroll Specialist, advised her employer, The Wackenhut Corporation (hereinafter “TWC”), of her interest in maternity and FMLA leave in November 2008, when she first […]

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Tenth Circuit Court Of Appeals Finds Employer Properly Rejected Request For Telecommuting And Additional FMLA Leave

By on May 2, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

In Valdez v. Brent McGill and Mueller Supply Company, Inc., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2783 (10th Cir. 2012), the court considered whether a request for telecommuting and additional leave was a reasonable accommodation. Doyle Brown worked as a warehouse supervisor for Mueller Supply Company.  He supervised Mueller’s warehouse, including all shipping and receiving.  He advised […]

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Department of Labor Provides Intepretation of Standards for Leave to Care for Adult Son or Daughter Under FMLA

By on April 4, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Employers should be aware that interpretation of being incapable of self-care and having a disability are very broad. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) is having an impact in other areas of law, specifically the FMLA.  A good example concerns the FMLA provision for leave to care for an adult son or daughter […]

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Employer Was Correct in Reading FMLA Request Narrowly to Exclude Foot Condition Since the Only Condition Mentioned in the Certification Was the Hand

By on February 19, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Many employees seek FMLA leave for more than one medical condition within the same year.  This can create difficulties for both employee and employer.  It is important to read medical certifications carefully, as is noted in Greer v. Cleveland Clinic Health System – East Region, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22594 (6th Cir. 2012). The plaintiff […]

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Facebook Postings by Employee Doom Her FMLA Claim

By on February 1, 2013 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Sara Jaszczyszyn worked as a Customer Service Representative for Advantage Health Physician Network.  On August 31, 2009, she saw her physician about a recurrence of back pain related to a prior car accident and two prior surgeries.  She was unable to work the next day and presented a Work Release Form on September 3, 2009 […]

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City Properly Denied Plaintiff Donated Sick Bank Days Because She Could not Show a Catastrophic Injury as Defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement

By on December 18, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Kelly Queen, plaintiff, worked as a police dispatcher for the City of Bridgeton.  On October 16, 2006, she experienced a racing heartbeat and left work.  Her family doctor referred her to a cardiologist.  He diagnosed her with a mitral valve prolapse condition, which may have been responsible for tachycardia and dyspnea.  She also underwent a cardiovascular […]

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Does An Employer Violate The FMLA By Performing Surveillance Of An Employee When It Suspects FMLA Abuse?

By on November 15, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

FMLA abuse remains a problem for employers, leading to the question of whether an employer can obtain surveillance to make sure that the leave is taken for the reason requested.  In Vail v. Raybestos Products Company, 533 F.3d 904 (7th Cir. 2008), an Appeals Court provided very helpful guidance on this issue. Diana Vail worked for […]

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Is Distant Travel For Faith Healing Of Seriously Ill Spouse Covered Under FMLA?

By on November 5, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Maria Lucia Tayag, Plaintiff, worked for Lahey Clinic Hospital, Inc. in Massachusettsas as a Health Information Clerk.  She received favorable reviews since she began her employment in 2002.  Her husband, Rhomeo Tayag, suffered from several chronic medical conditions, including recurrent gout, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and end-stage renal failure. Plaintiff routinely used intermittent FMLA leave for […]

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Circuit Court Holds Employer Does Not Have to Accomodate Employee’s Commuting Issues

By on September 21, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Alisha Regan worked for Faurecia Automotive Seating, Inc., as a prototype seat builder.  At the time she began with the company, she lived 24 miles from the plant.  She and her husband then moved to a new home 79 miles from the plant.  Her commute might take two hours or longer. Regan had been diagnosed […]

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Employee Who Was Going to College While on FMLA Leave Was Properly Terminated

By on September 14, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Plaintiff worked as a supervisor for Comcast’s Retention Department.  She worked Monday through Friday. In July 2010 she requested time off on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take care of her child, who suffered from asthma.  The request was initially denied, so plaintiff used flex time or vacation time on Tuesdays and Thursdays until she ran […]

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An Individual Supervisor at a Public Agency May be Held Personally Liable Under the FMLA

By on August 29, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

A recent case in the Third Circuit (including New   Jersey) has addressed individual liability of supervisors of public agencies.  In Haybarger v. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole, 667 F.3d 408 (3d. Cir. 2012), the plaintiff, Debra Haybarger, worked as an office manager for the Lawrence County Probation and Parole Agency.  Haybarger alleged that […]

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Third Circuit Holds That Employer Can Terminate Employee on FMLA for Violation of Paid Sick Leave Policy by Traveling Far From Home During Leave Without Permission

By on August 16, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

Someone who is on FMLA is still subject to other leave policies like call-in policies and paid sick leave policies prohibiting distant travel The case of Denise Pellegrino v. Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7902 (3d. Circuit 2012) offers important guidance for employers who struggle to deal with the FMLA in […]

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Employee With Work Injury Who Was Fired For Excessive Absenteeism Was Not Prejudiced By Employer’s Failure To Designate Absence Under FMLA

By on April 13, 2012 in FMLA with 0 Comments

The court reviewed the amended FMLA regulations dealing with prejudice for failing to designate FMLA time promptly. Deborah Myers worked as a dialysis nurse at Kettering Medical Center in Ohio (KMC).  She was injured during the course of her employment on August 15, 2009.  She received temporary total disability benefits under Ohio’s workers’ compensation system.  […]

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