An employer can violate the FMLA simply by discouraging an employee from taking FMLA leave, a federal appeals court ruled. Importantly, this means employees can prove an FMLA violation without showing that a request for leave under the statute was actually denied.
The ruling demonstrates the breadth of protection afforded to employees under the FMLA’s so-called “interference clause,” which bans employers from, among other things, interfering with an employee’s exercise of rights granted by the statute.
The conclusion squares entirely with both the language of the statute and its implementing regulations, and employers must be aware that under that language an actual denial of leave is not required to trigger an FMLA violation.
Source: HR Morning