Michigan Employer Did not Violate Family Medical Leave Act by Investigating Employee Conduct

Often when an employee exercises rights under federal or Michigan laws, any subsequent discipline becomes the first domino in a subsequent retaliation claim. But a recent appeal from a Michigan federal district court shows that does not have to be. Specifically, in Groening v. Glen Lake Cmty. Schools, the plaintiff, a school superintendent, claimed that she was constructively discharged in relation to taking leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). As we’ve explained in prior blog posts (Understanding Family Medical Leave Act Claims – One Statute, Two Possible Claims), an employer may violate the FMLA in one of two ways: (1) retaliating against an employee for exercising rights under the FMLA; and interfering with FMLA rights. Here, the plaintiff claimed her FMLA rights were violated under both theories. Plaintiff essentially argued the defendant school district’s board members expressed concerns about her leave, conducted an audit designed…

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