Employees who share porn and take FMLA lose retaliation claims

So, yeah, in cased you missed it, yesterday, was part one of a gripping two-part series about how employees who share XXX at work tend to get the short-end of the litigation stick should they later decide to sue their employers.

Today, we conclude this series — thankfully — with a look at a hospice nurse who felt it appropriate to share cell phone shots of her boyfriend’s wee-wee with some of her patients. She then takes FMLA leave and, yeah, you can see where this is headed (after the jump…)
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The Case of the Hospice Nurse on FMLA and Her Boyfriend’s Manhood

Jeff Nowak at FMLA Insights offers this further reminder about how naked electronic images — in this case the plaintiff’s boyfriend’s genitalia — tend to vitiate the merits of an employee lawsuit. Jeff recounts the facts:

Cynthia Adams was a registered hospice nurse for Fayette Home Care and Hospice. According to one of her hospice patients, Adams apparently showed him and his wife three pictures of her boyfriend’s genitals, the photos of which were stored on her cell phone. Not surprisingly, the patient told another nurse from Fayette about the incident and asked that Adams not come back.

Here’s the rub. When Fayette learned about the pictures, Ms. Adams was taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Instead of taking action right away, the company waited two months until Ms. Adams returned to confront and fire her.

Adams claimed that the company had retaliated against her because she had taken FMLA leave. The Court disagreed and found no such sinister motive in canning her, even though Fayette waited two months. Discharging employees who show porn to patients is a-ok. For more on the timing of disciplinary action when an employee is on FMLA leave, check out Jeff’s tips at the end of his post.

Final Score: Porno 2 – Plaintiff-Employees 0

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