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  • INDIANA- SUSPENDED ON A RUMOR Indiana

    My friend lives in Indiana and had an accident. She was in the hospital for 4 days and on a vent for 3 of them. Everyday, her kids called her work, told them she wont be making it in and told them what was going on. When she finally got off the vent, she herself called and they told her that they had her shift covered for the rest of the week, and just to bring in a doctor's note and everything will be fine. She went in the day before she was suppose to work to go ahead and give them the note when her boss pulled her into his office and asked her how she fell (her accident). She told him, and he said that he had heard rumors of her fall being because of drug abuse (which is a lie) and that he is suspending her until further notice. We are pretty sure he is going to fire her. Her accident did not even happen on company property or even when she was working! Can he suspend and fire her because of rumors?! He also did not put it in writing that she was suspended or anything.

  • #2
    Do you know if your friend was covered under FMLA? (though an employee can be terminated even if FMLA applies if they would have been terminated had they not been on FMLA leave)
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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    • #3
      If your friend was an at-will employee, then the employer may be within its rights to suspend or even terminate her due to this unfounded rumor. (In contrast, if she is a unionized employee, she likely has job protection rights under the collective bargaining agreement.)

      However, as stated above, if she was covered under FMLA, then her employer could not legally latch upon the rumor as a pretext for suspending or terminating her for taking leave. She would have a possible avenue of redress under FMLA.

      Please let us know whether she is an at-will employee and whether she is covered under the FMLA.

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      • #4
        She can be suspened or fired based on rumor. FMLA violation is a stretch unless the company has a history of firing those who need to use FMLA. Does she hold a safety sensitive job or one which requires a CDL?
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          I do not believe she is covered under FMLA. I did not even know about FMLA until this all happened. Do you need to have fmla before all of this happened? And not her job does not require any of that. She is actually server at a restaraunt.

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          • #6
            FMLA is job protected leave - certain requirements have to be met to qualify - work for the employer for at least 12 mos. (do not have to be consecutive), worked 1,250 hrs. immediately preceding the leave & work at a location with 50 or more employees within a 75 mi. radius. However, she can still be terminated/suspended if FMLA applies if she would have been terminated/suspended anyway had FMLA not applied. You can't be terminated/suspended JUST for taking FMLA.

            She can be suspended/terminated based on a rumor in at-will employment. In at-will employment, you can be suspended/terminated for any reason at any time except for a reason prohibited by law (example age, religion, gender, taking FMLA leave....) unless there is a binding employment contract to the contrary. Sorry.
            Last edited by Betty3; 01-27-2012, 09:17 PM.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment

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