Legal Question in Medical Leave in Ohio

FMLA Maternity Leave - Ohio

My company has less than 50 employees, but it does state in the employee handbook that they honor the FMLA. I am a supervisor in the company, but not amongst the top 10 percent highest paid.

My employer is requesting that I work from home, during most of my leave. Will that time that I work from home count against my leave? Will it ''credit'' me more time for the leave? How does that work?

Asked on 7/25/07, 10:28 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eileen Joyce Baughman & Joyce LLC
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Re: FMLA Maternity Leave - Ohio

IF your employer is subject to the FMLA, then it cannot require you to perform work-related tasks while you are on leave. The question, however, is whether your employer is bound by the FMLA. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Some courts have held that when an employer represents that an employee is eligible for/protected by the FMLA, the employer waives the right to later claim that the FMLA does not apply if the employee relied on the employer’s representation to his/her detriment. Other courts, however, have reached a contrary conclusion, holding that if the eligibility criteria are not met (e.g., 50 or more employees), then the employer is not bound by the FMLA regardless of the employer’s previous representations.

Your post presents unique legal issues relating to the FMLA on which I am aware of no reported case law that is directly on point or that clearly states your and/or your employer’s rights under these circumstances. Consequently, I am not comfortable stating what rights you may or may not have. I would advise, however, that you contact the U.S. Department of Labor and request an opinion letter. Opinion letters are DOL interpretations of the FMLA based on a set of facts presented. The DOL’s website has information about how to request an opinion letter. While the opinion letters issued by the DOL are made public, identities, names, etc. are omitted from the letters before being made public and the identity of the requester is, likewise, kept private.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only; it is not to be construed as legal advice; and it is not intended to and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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7/25/07, 11:16 am

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