FMLA legal obligation to employer

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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FMLA legal obligation to employer

I am currently on FMLA. I was contacted
and interviewed with a other company.
What is my legal obligation to my
current employer? Can I return to work
and then put in my notice without
having legal ramifications?

Asked on October 21, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Using FMLA does not obligate you to return--you could even put in your notice while still on FMLA.
If you are returning only to vest in some payment or benefit, and return only briefly without telling your employer that you will be leaving (but rather lead the employer to believe you will be staying) so that you do vest, then that could get you in trouble: that could be considered fraud (lying about something material, or important, such as your intentions, to induce your employer to let you return to work--since if they knew you were going to quit, they would not have to--so you can get some  payment or benefit from them). 
So this could be an issue only if you are essentially lying to your employer to qualify or something you'd not qualify for if they knew you were leaving. Otherwise, it is legal.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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