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7th Circuit affirms summary judgment for employer in FMLA suit

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An employer was within its rights to terminate an employee who attempted to take off work under the Family and Medical Leave Act but then sought no treatment, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

Judge William T. Lawrence granted summary judgment in favor of the employer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

In Robert Jones v. C&D Technologies, 11-3400, Robert Jones appealed the finding for the employer in Attica, where he had worked for six years as a machine operator. The company had a system in which workers were assessed half-points or full points for unexcused absences longer than 30 minutes. An employee with three or more points in a four-month period was subject to termination.

On Oct. 1, 2009, Jones missed work to go to a doctor’s appointment. Jones and the company dispute whether Jones requested FMLA leave for the entire day or just for the time needed for his appointment. Jones also said he left a voice mail about missing work that day, which C&D disputes.

Jones had accumulated at least three points in the quarter, and he was suspended the day after his medical appointment and fired within a week.

The District Court held that while Jones obtained refills of prescription medication for anxiety and leg pain during his day off, he was not entitled to FMLA leave because he did not receive treatment during his absence. The 7th Circuit agreed.

“Taking prescription medicine is not indicative of whether an employee receives treatment that prevents” performing a job, Circuit Judge Michael Kanne wrote. “Many chronic conditions require a course of prescription medication, but the FMLA requires something more for an employee to become entitled to leave — inability to perform … job functions.”


 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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