Nothing to Celebrate at T.G.I. Friday’s

On August 7, 2013, the Department of Labor announced an agreement with T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants to address their repeated violations of the Family Medical Leave Act.  According to the DOL, the restaurants violated the FMLA by failing to reinstate employees to the same or equivalent positions following leave and failing to permit employees to return immediately following FMLA covered leave.  In addition, the DOL took issue with the restaurant’s leave policies which did not include information notifying employees about military leave under the FMLA, the right to take intermittent leave, and misstated employee eligibility requirements for leave.

Bottom line: The FMLA (and OFLA) are complicated statutes with multiple opportunities for employers to trip up.  Employers need to periodically review their policies and, when employees are returning from leave, carefully consider circumstances if an  employee is not going to be returned to their former position.

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