Is the following legal?

I work in Pittsburgh, Pa. at Mosebach Manufacturing as a QC Supervisor. Yesterday
at 930am I asked for FMLA paperwork because I am going to need to get some
testing and maybe surgery done. At 230 pm yesterday, I was laid off. I am a
salary worker and middle of the road in seniority in my department. Nobody else
was laid off. Also, it seemed odd I got laid off on a Monday when I get paid for
the entire week regardless. I just wanted to know if I had just cause for legal
action.

Asked on June 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You very likely have a case for illegal retaliation against you for using your FMLA rights. An employee *may* be laid off after requesting FMLA leave, IF the lay off can be proven to have been in the works before hand and to be supported by non-FMLA reasons, such as business reduction or downturn...but the situation you describe, of one, mid-seniority employee being laid off without warning the day he/she asked for FMLA leave makes it very unlikely that the company could establish a valid, non-FMLA reason for the layoff. Similarly, an employee could be terminated after requesting FMLA paperwork if there was some documented problem or issue (e.g. absenteeism, sexually harassing other employees, documented poor performance, etc.) and the termination was also in the works ahead of time--an employee can't use FMLA to short-circuit an otherwise valid termination. But again, that would not seem to be the case here, because you do not write about any significant work-related issues.
Based on what you write, you should contact the federal or state department of labor to file a FMLA retaliation complaint.


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