Employee’s Retaliation Claim Fails Due to Employer’s “Honest Belief” Employee Abused FMLA
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Employee’s Retaliation Claim Fails Due to Employer’s “Honest Belief” Employee Abused FMLA

Tillman, a former employee of Ohio Bell Telephone Company, had a chronic back condition that caused intense pain two to three days per month.  Tillman was granted intermittent leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Ohio Bell noticed suspicious patterns in the timing of Tillman’s requests for FMLA leave and investigated.  Ohio Bell determined Tillman was abusing his FMLA leave and terminated him.  Tillman filed a claim alleging Ohio Bell violated FMLA by interfering with the exercise of his rights under the FMLA and retaliating against him for asserting his rights under the FMLA.  The district court entered summary judgment in favor of Ohio Bell on both the interference and retaliation claims.  The Sixth Circuit affirmed, concluding that Tillman failed to disprove his employer held an “honest belief” that he abused his FMLA leave in his retaliation claim.  The Court also determined that Tillman failed to show he was entitled to FMLA leave, and the district court did not err in granting Ohio Bell’s motion for summary judgment on the FMLA interference claim.    

Tillman v. Ohio Bell Telephone Co., 11-3857 (6th Cir. Oct. 8, 2013).

Tillman v Ohio Bell.pdf

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