In Tennessee we have an employee who is on FMLA and has falsified documents on company letterhead. We have a right to terminate even though she’s on FMLA, yes or no?
Yes, in Tennessee or any other state (possible exception: California) you have the right to terminate this employee.
Being on FMLA leave does not give an employee a license to lie, cheat and steal. An employer can take any action against an employee on FMLA leave, that the employer would have taken anyway, had the employee not been on FMLA. However, the employer cannot terminate an employee (or take any negative job action) simply because the employee uses FMLA leave.
Examples: Trina is on FMLA leave after the birth of her baby. During the 3rd week of Trinas leave, her employer learns that Trina has been stealing petty cash from the safe. There is no doubt that Trina is the person responsible because Trina was caught on tape and even admits the thefts. The employer can terminate Trina immediately, even though she is on FMLA leave.
Ron is on FMLA leave for baby bonding after the birth of his child. Rons employer thinks this is silly, and decides to fire Ron for taking FMLA. Or, the employer simply prefers Rons replacement, who is a buxom blonde. In either case, it would be illegal for Rons employer to terminate him.
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