Printer Friendly

Mixed motive FMLA claims approved.

Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee

The Supreme Court recently held that plaintiffs filing age discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act cannot prevail if the adverse employment action was the result of multiple factors, including their age--the so-called "mixed-motive" claim.

But the 6th Circuit held on Aug. 26 that the high court's ruling in Gross v. FBL Financial Services does not apply to cases filed under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Based on Department of Labor regulations, the appeals court found that "the FMLA, like Title VII, authorizes claims in which an employer bases an employment decision on both permissible and impermissible factors," thereby giving the green light to mixed-motive FMLA claims.

The plaintiff in Hunter v. Valley View Local Schools was a school janitor who had taken various periods of leave under the FMLA due to nonjob-related injuries. She sued when the school district placed her on involuntary unpaid leave. Evidence in the case established that the employer ordered the involuntary leave both because she was unable to perform the essential functions of her job (permissible under the FMLA) and because of her excessive absenteeism while on FMLA leaves (not permitted under the FMLA). Because one of the factors the employer considered was in violation of the FMLA, the court overturned Valley View's grant of summary judgment and remanded the case.
COPYRIGHT 2009 Summit Business Media
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:6TH CIRCUIT
Author:Wanton, Mary S.
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Previous Article:TiVo awarded $200 million in infringement case.
Next Article:Hidden agenda: proposals in health care bill send non-profits scrambling.

Related Articles
Family and Medical Leave Act cavers flu, Fourth Circuit rules.
States not immune from Family and Medical Leave Act liability, Ninth Circuit rules.
FMLA allows time off for employee to care for depressed parent.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters