Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related...
The U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 22 declined to review a federal appeals court ruling that a Joplin, Mo., service technician could not show that he was discharged for absenteeism in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act because he failed to give Kansas City Freightliner Sales Inc. enough information to differentiate his missed time from “ordinary sick days, or even malingering” (Brown v. Kansas City Freightliner Sales Inc., U.S., No. 10-665, cert. denied 2/22/11).
Former employee Donald Brown argued that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit required him to satisfy a “rigorous notice” requirement that is not applied by other courts, and he asked the high court to “declare a nationwide standard for what an employee must do to notify an employer of the need for unforeseeable FMLA leave,” but the justices denied his petition.
Brown's former employer argued that a single telephone call announcing that Brown was “sick” did not provide enough information to fulfill the service technician's obligation under the act, and contended that an amended Labor Department regulation supports that view.
According to the Eighth Circuit decision ( 617 F.3d 995, 15 WH Cases2d 801 (8th Cir. 2010)), Brown had worked for KCF for about seven years when he injured his back at work in June 2007 and again in August of that year. Brown was treated by a physician for a lumbar sprain, but on Sept. 21, 2007, he was released without restrictions for a return to work “as tolerated.”
On Sept. 26, 2007, Brown told his supervisor that he had hurt his back again and that he wanted to go home. Brown did not fill out an injury report and refused medical attention. He went home and then missed his next four scheduled workdays. Brown did not seek medical attention during the four-day period, relying on pain medication that was left over from his earlier injuries.
Brown or his wife placed calls to the company each day reporting that he was sick, but they provided no other information to KCF. Brown had exhausted his sick leave under a company policy, and when he returned to work Oct. 3, 2007, KCF discharged him.
Brown sued KCF in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, alleging that his discharge violated the FMLA. The trial court ruled in favor of the employer, finding that Brown did not establish that he had a serious health condition covered by the act. The Eighth Circuit affirmed on the basis that “Brown's FMLA notice was inadequate, KCF's FMLA duties were not triggered, and the district court's grant of summary judgment was appropriate.”
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)