Seems like employees are always looking for new ways to sue under FMLA. Here’s one the courts thankfully wouldn’t let slide.
An employee was denied several promotions over a short period of time. His explanation: He was being retaliated against because his wife — who worked for the same company — had sued for FMLA violations.
The court didn’t buy it. Why not? Because the man was never actively involved in his wife’s lawsuit. The FMLA didn’t offer any protection just because he was married to someone who sued the company.
FMLA retaliation is possible
Employees can sometimes sue for retaliation based on other people’s FMLA claims. In this case, the employee could have won if he had:
- helped his wife file a charge or complaint
- participated in an investigation, or
- testified on her behalf.
Cite: Elsensohn v. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office