Employees in Pennsylvania have the right to take job-protected leave if they have a family or medical issue that requires time off from work. When an employer interferes with an employee's decision to take leave, the employer could be sued for discrimination under the Family and Medical Leave Act. One of the mistakes that an employer can make in regards to FMLA leave is failing to recognize an employee's need for FMLA leave.
An employee may communicate with their employer explicitly about their need to take FMLA leave, or an employee may tell their employer about a medical condition that they have. Either way, the employer must recognize the employee's need for leave and protect the employee's job position if they take time off.
An ongoing court case involving an employee in Texas concerns the issue of adequate notice in FMLA leave cases. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. argued that the employee failed to give adequate notice of his need for FMLA leave because the employee did not tell his supervisors about his need for continued leave. However, the court found that there was enough evidence to proceed to trial because the man had updated his contact information while he was on leave and communicated with the company's benefits department about his medical certification requirements.
A person who needs to take time off from work because of a medical emergency may not be capable of communicating with their employer immediately. If an employer does not protect an employee's job position while they are recovering from an accident or illness, the employer may be sued for FMLA leave discrimination.