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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18808
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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Last January (2015) I was out of work on FMLA weeks. My

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Last January (2015) I was out of work on FMLA for 2 weeks. My employer disabled my computer system accounts and badge while I was out of leave. We are not allowed to work while on FMLA. Before I left, I told HR and my manager when my return date was. I was going to be out for 2 weeks. HR told me that I needed to contact HR or my manager if I was out longer than 2 weeks and employees only needed to contact HR or our manager in 2 week intervals. During my leave, my manager text messaged me several times to see how I was feeling and would then ask if I was coming back on the day I told them before I went on leave. I told that my return date did not change, but she would still text me and ask about it. Here is the company’s policies and you will see FMLA on here: https://www.mclaneco.com/www/AnonDocs/MyMcLane/TeammateCenter/Policies/CompanyWide/Employment/TeammateHandbook.pdf
Can an employer contact you on FMLA leave and ask how you are feeling and harass you by asking you to confirm your return date when you have already given them a return date?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

The FMLA law doesn't disallow the employer from contacting you about your return and confirming it. Text messaging you several times, while it may have been harassing to you, really isn't going to rise to the level of harassment necessary to suggest FMLA retaliation.

The employer here can at least claim a legitimate purpose (making sure hours are covered and knowing when to start your computer access again).

Furthermore, even if it did rise to the level of harassment, it's too late now to make any sort of legal allegation. You would have had to do so within 300 days of the offense and if this occurred in January of 2015, it's too late now to raise the legal issue.

But again, while I can understand this as being annoying, a few texts during that two weeks doesn't rise to the level of harassment. You'd need to a few texts a day, emails, phone calls, etc. (trying to get you to do work or pressuring you to return before your FMLA date) to be able to make a harassment allegation.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

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