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No FMLA Violation Where Employer Grants More Leave Than Required By Law

No FMLA Violation Where Employer Grants More Leave Than Required By Law
  • June 25, 2001

The Connecticut Superior Court recently ruled that an employer did not violate the Family and Medical Leave Act by terminating an employee after a six-month medical leave of absence. Szpryngel v. Waterbury Extended Care Facility Inc. (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 24, 2001). Noting that the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has not decided this issue, the Superior Court held that the "FMLA was not violated because the defendant's leave policy, which the plaintiff took advantage of, exceeds the baseline granted by the FMLA."

The plaintiff argued that, by failing to provide her with an additional twelve weeks of leave after the conclusion of 26 weeks of leave under the company policy, the employer violated the FMLA. The employer asked the court to dismiss the plaintiff's claim and argued that, because company policy provided more than 12 weeks of leave, the plaintiff received all of the protection afforded under the FMLA. The court agreed with the employer and noted that Congress did not intend for employees to use the FMLA to "extend an employer's leave policy if that policy exceeds the baseline."

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