When an employee is caring for a sick family member, some scheduling issues can arise.
In a recent case, an employee was terminated when he never returned from FMLA leave. Here’s how the company came out on top.
No adverse employment action
Frank Pierri was a chemist at Medline Industries in Illinois. He was also in charge of caring for his grandfather, who had liver cancer.
Pierri requested accommodations that would allow him to care for his grandfather. The company initially didn’t have any issues with this, and offered Pierri several different accommodations, including granting him one day of leave per week.
Pierri claims his manager didn’t like this schedule and “harassed him” about it, leading Pierri to take full-time FMLA leave. He never returned to work, leading to his termination.
He sued for discrimination, but the 7th Circuit ruled in favor of the employer. The court said Medline had made “ample effort” to accommodate Pierri.
In regards to the alleged harassment from the manager, the court said Pierri experienced no adverse employment action, and was only fired when he didn’t return to work when he was supposed to.
Cite: Pierri v. Medline Industries, 8/6/20.