Boss/HR says No to FMLA (Family Medical Leave)?
In a recent March, 2016, 2nd circuit court decision (Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America)(which covers Connecticut) it was decided that manager and/or supervisors can be liable in their individual capacity for Family Medical Leave (FMLA) violations. That is pretty scary for the untrained supervisor or Human Resources personnel who are charged with determining employee eligibility for FMLA leave. The Federal Court indicated that any individual who falls within the following classification and was a decision maker for FMLA determinations can be held personally liable if they:
- Had the power to hire and/or fire an employee;
- Supervised and/or controlled the employees work schedule/conditions of employment;
- Determined the rate of pay;
- Maintained employment records.
It is pretty common that most supervisors and/or Human Resources individuals are going to fall within the above four factors in some shape or form. The Court also noted that the four factors above are only “some” of the factors to consider in a Plaintiff prevailing on his/her individual claims under the FMLA.
This new ruling places a huge burden on employers to ensure that their supervisory personnel are well trained in the rules and regulations of the FMLA. However, it may be even more important for supervisory personnel to ensure that the company they are working for also has in place proper liability coverage that also covers its supervisors.
If you, the employee, feel that you have been a victim of discrimination and/or retaliation on the basis of having to apply for or using Family Medical Leave, contact Employee Rights to learn more about your options.