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Man fired after posting photos on Facebook during medical leave

New Yorkers should be careful with what they post on Facebook when they take medical leave from work, as was demonstrated by a recent federal case. A Florida man who took 12 weeks off from his job at a nursing home for FMLA leave and then an additional 30 days of non-FMLA leave was fired after his coworkers reported vacation photos he posted during the period.

When he went back to work, the employer asked him about his posts and gave him the chance to give additional information about both his leave and what he did during it. Upon his refusal to do so, the company fired him for providing a poor example to other employees as a supervisor.

The man filed a lawsuit, claiming the company violated his rights under the FMLA because he had been required to give them a fitness of duty certificate. The court granted the company's summary judgment motion. In the court's dismissal ruling, the court found that the company did not violate his FMLA rights and that he was fired for violating company policies rather than for taking medical leave.

In some cases, a firing will constitute wrongful termination. As the man's case demonstrates, however, not every decision to fire is a wrongful one, though. People who believe their termination was an act of retaliation or discrimination may want to consult with an employment law attorney. If after a review of the circumstances surrounding the firing the attorney believes that a violation of federal or state law occurred, the initial step may be to file a claim with the appropriate federal or state agency.

National Law Review, "Federal court upholds discharge of employee on medical leave who shared vacation photos on Facebook," Denise Merna Dadika, March 3, 2016

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