I am currently on FMLA, caring for my mom who had surgery 3 weeks ago.
On Friday, I received a phone call from my employer who informed me that they did not believe that I was coming back to work after my 6 weeks leave ob absence because I relocated my family back to GA and that they noticed on my LinkedIn email message that I was looking for a job in GA from FL. I was given the option to either resign or get terminated because I lied to my boss that I was coming back to work and they don't believe I was coming back.
Any advice for what I should do? Do I just resign or fight the company for invading my privacy in my LinkedIn mail box and drawing a wrong conclusion. I did not lie to my boss and I really want to save my reputation. I am very hard working and have never been fired from a job. Please advice.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Since checking your posts on social media is not "invading your privacy," that rules out that option. If you want to keep something private, posting on social media generally has the opposite result.
If your company is covered by the FMLA (it has at least 50 employees working within a 75 mile radius) and if you are eligible for FMLA leave (you have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months and in the last 12 months you worked at least 1250 hours), then you are legally entitled to take the leave, and the employer cannot fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for taking the leave. You should contact your employer and tell the employer that you have no intention of resigning and every intention of returning to work once the leave expires, or once you don't need the leave to care for your mother. While you may eventually choose to leave, you have not chosen to do so yet, and you have every intent of returning to your job.You may also tell him that you have contacted an attorney and if he fires you for taking the leave you will take action to enforce your federal rights against him.