DOL threat from employee (long)

I have an employee that was out on FMLA, before he left he had 4 disciplinaries in his file for the same problem. While he was out his supervisor found 2 more infrractions of the same policy. We documented the issue, and were going to fire him when he came back; we thought he would only be out a few days, not 6 weeks.

All this happened before we realized he was going to need FMLA, after his FMLA was approved his manager called him and told him he was being demoted for these infractions. This employees wife has written 2 letters so far to the company outlining what we did wrong, accusing us of retalation, etc. Now we have gotten a copy of a letter she wrote to the DOL with the same accusation. The employee has not discussed anything with management, he has signed off of all the letters like he wrote them but we know better. He got his review on Monday and it was not good, he signed it and came back the next day to add the comment "under protest". I noted by the comment that it was added the next day.

He comes to work and acts like nothing is heppening and we are acting the same way. I feel like we are OK, but the "DOL" thing really has me freaked out.

Any thoughts?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Even the threat of an employee going to the DOL, EEOC, etc can raise your blood pressure. You need to stand by your documentation and hold fast to your policies. Does the timing seem suspect? Absolutely. But, you can't change that it happened, therefore I'd go into complete "preserve and protect" mode. Make sure you have statements from everyone involved, make sure your documentation is impeccable, and make sure this employee is being treated in the same manner as everyone else in his situation.

    It's tough that the burden of proof falls on our shoulders, but the key is to be able to show that you followed your policies and procedures, and that the same result would have happened regardless of FMLA or any other outside influence.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!
  • Thanks Coffee, I also have an EEOC threat out there. I know in my heart that we are right, it just freaks me out. I will let you know what happens if anything.

    Have a great Friday!
  • As long as you have documentation that you were going to take action BEFORE he requested FMLA, you should be completely in the clear. Good luck!
  • I agree and also be sure to put your labor attorney in the loop, if you have one.
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