C.R.E.A.M. FMLA

Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s what Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, and Method Man are rapping about here. It’s FMLA, son.

A Wu-Tang Clan-inspired post.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is Wu-Tang Clan‘s first studio album. Perhaps, the biggest hit on the platinum Wu-Tang debut is C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me). That was back in 1993.

You know what else dropped in 1993? The Family and Medical Leave Act. Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences.

Fast forward 22 years and peep this 8th Circuit decision, in which a woman claimed that her former employer violated the FMLA by placing her on a one-month suspension after she took FMLA. The suspension was unpaid at first, but the company eventually provided the woman with backpay.

Adverse employment action?

To show FMLA retaliation, a plaintiff must demonstrate that she suffered an adverse employment for invoking her FMLA rights. Can a suspension with backpay be considered an adverse employment action? Under the FMLA, no.

Break ’em off 8th Circuit:

Even where a suspension with backpay could deter an employee from exercising rights under the FMLA, however, a plaintiff proceeding under the FMLA must show actual monetary loss to recover….The FMLA limits damages to actual monetary loss. The FMLA provides no relief unless the employee has been prejudiced by the violation.

Employer takeaway.

It’s simple. Don’t suspend or fire employees. Don’t let an employee’s exercise of FMLA rights motivate you to take any action against her.

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  • Anthony Bowser

    Eric – Thank you for this post, for two reasons: 1) I have an FMLA case pending @ District Court level with the paid suspension issue and this is quite helpful; and 2) I will now be listening to Wu-Tang all day whilst I write a brief (in order: Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Fishscale).