What can I do if I am refused employment on the basis of being absent from my prior job while on Family Medical Leave?

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What can I do if I am refused employment on the basis of being absent from my prior job while on Family Medical Leave?

My former principal is telling prospective principals that I have “excessive absences” with no explanation whatsoever leading them to pass me over for the job. In the last instance I had a chance to explain the situation to the principal and he still said based on my former employer’s reference to “excessive absences” he would not recommend me to the district for the job. Do I have a legal leg to stand on?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you were validly out on Family and Medical Leave Act leave--

* Your employer had at least 50 employees within 75 miles

* You had worked there at least 12 months

* You had worked 1,250 hours in the last 12 months

* Your medical condition would qualify for FMLA leave

* You properly provided notice of FMLA leave

--then to say you had "excessive absences" while out on said leave is defamation, since it is an untrue factual statement, which damages your reputation, made to third parties. It may also be illegal retaliation aginst someone for using FMLA leave. Therefore, if you were validly on leave at the time you were absence, you may have grounds to sue your former principal for defamation and/or FMLA retaliation, and should speak with an employment law attorney to explore your options.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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