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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 99450
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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Im a school teacher, who took family leave last year before

Customer Question

Im a school teacher, who took family leave last year before the leave i was satifactory on my reviews after the leave on the last day of school i was given a review of unsatifactory, a little background the day before school started I was asked to head a new class , called PBL, personnel based learning , this is a different type of environment then a normal classroom. I feel the reviewer didn't have the correct information to do an accurate review. I have filed a complaint, also I have been told by my superior twice to find a new school in private. please help
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Please tell me:

1) By "family leave," do you mean FMLA?

2) Do you feel that your unsatisfactory review was somehow related to FMLA?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
it was FMLA and I do feel the unsatisfactory was related to my FMLA leave
Expert:  Ely replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

An employer generally has the right to terminate, demote, or write up an employee FOR ANY REASON. The only reasons one cannot do this for are:

PUBLIC POLICY (discrimination based on race, religion, creed, etc; or, a retaliatory termination due to a claim made by an employee); or

-CONTRACT POLICY (if one has a contract that disallows such a termination)
-COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH (firing an employee to avoid paying a benefit, for example)

Otherwise, an employer can do this for any reason, without notice. It can be based on a mistaken rumor, or, just the fact that they do not like your shoes one day. You will hear "right to work" a lot. However, that does not mean what people think it means. All this means is that at time of being employed, the employee has a choice whether or not to join a union as a condition of employment.

Anyhow, so the review is presumed valid, unless someone in your situation can somehow tie it specifically to the FMLA. This is hard to do, because FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave. Employees are also entitled to return to their same or an equivalent job at the end of their FMLA leave. But notice that FMLA is protective of the employee during the time off. It is hard to say/prove that the employer's negative review and possibly termination later on is related to FMLA. One would have to prove it.

In other words, someone in your situation would be saying that the negative review and any other action was a "cover" to terminate/force the employee out so as not to provide them with FMLA coverage.

If you feel that this can be done, and that your actions at work in a normal classroom and PBL were fine, then someone in your situation may have a claim under FMLA - see HERE. However, it is arguably too early to file until/unless the employer terminates and one feels that the underlining reason was really FMLA. At simply a negative review, it is too early to make such a claim, arguably.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

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