New Business Owner Tagged for Failing to Hire Employee on FMLA Leave

If you are thinking about buying a business and hiring its employees, make sure you think carefully about refusing employment to employees on medical leave. In a recent decision out of Arizona federal district court, the acquiring company’s decision to hire 87% of the selling company’s workforce, but exclude an employee on medical leave cost the acquiring company almost $60,000. The employee was on FMLA leave at the time his employer was acquired, and was terminated, although approximately 87% of his co-workers were hired by the buyer. The court found that the buyer, as a successor company, had a legal obligation to allow the employee to complete his leave and then restore him to an equivalent position. The court ordered the buyer to offer to reinstate the employee and, the damage award included in back wages and reimbursement for medical expenses incurred by the employee because he lost his medical coverage when he was terminated.

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