When Kauffman appealed his termination through the company’s internal policies, the company advised him for the first time that the doctor’s certification was incomplete. When Kauffman attempted to give FedEx a revised form from his doctor, he was refused. Kauffman sued under the FMLA.
A district court dismissed the lawsuit, relying on the deficiencies in the doctor’s certification. On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit determined that FedEx had interfered with Kauffman’s substantive rights under the FMLA. "The doctor’s certification provides enough information to satisfy the (FMLA)." Moreover, "FedEx would have been required to, but did not, notify Kauffman and give him time to cure the deficiency." Kauffman v. Fed. Express Corp., 7th Cir., No. 04-2433 (10/18/05).
Impact: It is important that employers, via their policies and procedures, demonstrate their willingness to help rather than hinder their employees’ use of FMLA rights.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
Workforce Management, January 16, 2006, p. 13 -- Subscribe Now!