If I am on FMLA, can my supervisor hire someone to replaceme?

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If I am on FMLA, can my supervisor hire someone to replaceme?

I am an employee of public school system and I have been on FMLA and I was to return to work as of the 28th of last month. I went in to the office to return my work phone as requested by my supervisor on the 21st when I was advised that she hired someone to replace my position. I was also told that she didn’t think I was capable of doing my job due to the fact that I do not have a vehicle to get around to my sites. Since then I have been trying to get a hold of the FMLA contact person to help me with this situation and I am not getting any answers.

Asked on August 5, 2011 Colorado

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can legally do this. Pursuant to FMLA, if an employee is out on such leave then they cannot be fired or have a change in position/salary simply for being out. However, if their termination/job change is due to another reason unrelated to the one for which they were out, it is legal. In your case, according to your employer, your situation was caused by transportation issues. A legitimate reason for discharge, whether or not FMLA was involved.

The fact is that, an "at will" employer can hire/fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. Accordingly, unless you had a union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, or this action violated company policy, or was the result of discrimination, you would appear to have no claim.  


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