Extended time away from work is not always easy to obtain. Though the Family and Medical Leave Act allows qualifying workers to take extended leave under certain circumstances, there is not a perfect guarantee that a worker will not lose his or her job for taking that leave. In fact, confusion over FMLA policies could result in an unnecessary termination and lawsuits.
Michigan readers may be interested in a lawsuit against Walmart that recently gained new life. According to reports, a former Walmart employee filed a lawsuit against the company after she was fired for numerous absences and claimed that the company interfered with her FMLA rights. The worker had been injured on the job, and each day she was not able to come in to work, she would call and inform a third-party company that managed workers’ comp claims and requests for Walmart. The woman believed that her absences were covered under the FMLA.
Walmart claims that the woman did not follow proper procedure when requesting her leave because she did not contact the correct department within the third-party company. As a result, the woman’s lawsuit was initially dismissed. However, she filed an appeal claiming that she did not know she had to contact two different departments about her leave. Now, her case has been revived because questions exist as to whether she did not follow proper policy and whether the policies were unclear.
Claims of interference with the FMLA typically have their complications. As this case shows, it may be necessary to appeal any initial negative outcomes to claims against employers. If Michigan workers believe that they have had their leave rights violated, they may want to look further into their options for legally addressing the matter.