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Employees Must Follow Up With Employers Regarding Vague FMLA Leave Requests

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Righi v. SMC Corporation of America, 632 F.3d 404 (7th Cir. 2011) (0 other reports)

Author: Wayne D. Garris

In Righi v. SMC Corporation of America, +632 F.3d 404 (7th Cir. 2011), the court addressed whether an employer interfered with an employee's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights after the employee was terminated for missing work for nine days. The employer had received a vague request for leave from the employee, who did not respond to the employer's requests for information regarding his return-to-work date.

Under the FMLA, an employer may not interfere with an employee's proper exercise of FMLA rights. In order for an employee to succeed in a FMLA interference claim, the employee must prove, among other things, that he or she provided sufficient notice of his or her intent to take FMLA leave. If an employee fails to provide sufficient notice, he or she may lose protections under the FMLA. However, the employee does not have to specifically mention the FMLA to invoke his or her rights, but must provide enough information to his or her employer to show that the leave is requested for a reason covered by the FMLA. +29 CFR 825.302(b) through +29 CFR 825.302(d). The employee may be required to provide this information using the employer's customary and usual notice procedures. +29 CFR 825.302(d).