My Employer Has Refused To Grant My Request For Leave. Can They Do That?
In this article, you will discover:
- When an employer can refuse FMLA leave
- If you can be terminated for taking FMLA leave
Employers can refuse the leave if you do not have a serious health condition or if you did not return the certification on time. They cannot terminate you for making the request. As long as you are eligible and entitled to FMLA leave, it is unlawful for an employer to deny the request. You can then file an FMLA Interference claim. Additionally, an employee can file a retaliation claim if the employee suffers some type of an adverse employment action as a response to their request of FMLA leave.
Can I Lose My Job If I Take FMLA Leave?
It is unlawful for an employer to take an action against an employee because the employee exercises his FMLA rights. Assuming that you are eligible and entitled to FMLA leave, then it would be unlawful for an employer to take any adverse employment action. An adverse employment action is defined as any action that would make a reasonable employee reluctant to exercise their FMLA rights. Examples would be a termination, demotion, substantial change in the schedule or job location, or pay cut.
Just because you request leave and you are fired does not mean that you necessarily have a case. You still have to prove that you were fired because of your request for leave. For example, while you are out on FMLA leave, the company discovers that you have been stealing the toilet paper from the supply closet. The employer has a right to fire you because theft is a legitimate cause for termination. You only have a case if you are terminated as a result of your request for leave. The employer could be upset that your absence leaves them short-staffed, and in turn, terminates you in retaliation. Then you have a case.