Employees and employers may disagree about a whole range of issues that affect them in different ways. One of those issues is about taking leave. In some cases, employees may want to take leave, and their employers might deny them the right to or give them less than they should get. In other cases, employers might make their employees go on leave when the employees doesn’t want to go or not keep their job for them. The latter is what allegedly happened to a school district employee.
An employee, a woman who worked for the district for 13 years, has filed a lawsuit against the school district. It alleges that her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act were violated. The case has now had a mediator assigned to it by mutual agreement between the woman and the school district. The initial mediation session will take place in March.
The woman had been an early childhood program coordinator for the school district between March 2001 and June 30, 2014. On Jan. 31, 2014, she went on leave in accordance with the FMLA because she required surgery on her hip. She returned to full-time status at work on April 25, 2014. However, she says that her responsibilities were substantially reduced. On May 12, 2014, she was told that her position would be eliminated. She was formally discharged on June 30, 2014.
The school district says that her contract ended then. They also say she was paid all the compensation she was due, and her position was eliminated simply due to a reorganization and reduction in force. They also say she was offered an alternative position but turned it down.
Every FMLA case is different. Those who feel that their rights were violated may want to explore their options with an attorney.
Source: Mlive.com, “Mediator named in school employee lawsuit alleging Kent ISD violated Family and Medical Leave Act” Monica Scott, Dec. 26, 2014