Monday, March 13, 2006
Suits in the Workplace has an ironic post about a recent case in which the employer did the classy thing and sent flowers to an employee when it found out from a co-employee that the employee in question had been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.
Well, you see, the thing is that if you send flowers to a hospitalized employee, there is also a good chance that you, as an employer, have been put on notice that the employee in question had a serious health condition and might qualify for FMLA leave.
So found the federal court in Ohio, and now the case has been teed up for a trial to determine whether the employer was in fact given adequate notice such that the stricken employee should have received the protections of the FMLA.
Two morals can be gleaned from this decision according to Suits in the Workplace:
[N]o good deed goes unpunished. The other moral: when it comes to notice under the FMLA, there are no exact reporting rules. If an employer has enough information to know to send flowers (clearly indicating illness), chances are it’s on notice that the employee may require FMLA leave time.
The decision by the Southern District of Ohio in Robinson v. Hilton Hospitality, Inc., No. 04-00092, 2006 WL 508714 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 1, 2006) can be accessed here (Westlaw subscription required).