Did the employer’s surveillance of Vail interfere with her rights under FMLA?
Diana Vail, who received medical treatment for migraine headaches, worked at Raybestos, a car parts manufacturer. Raybestos had been giving Vail intermittent leave under FMLA for her migrane headaches since April 2004. From May to September 2005, Vail’s requests for FMLA leave due to migraine headaches became more frequent, often falling on weekdays when her husband’s mowing company was busiest. Growing suspicious that Vail’s requests were not genuine, Raybestos monitored Vail’s activities by hiring an off-duty police officer to conduct video surveillance. The officer reported that Vail mowed the lawns of a cemetery, her husband’s client, on a day when Vail called prior to her shift to request leave. Vail was subsequently terminated based on her performance of physical labor while on FMLA. a. Did Vail’s termination violate FMLA? Explain. b. Did the employer’s surveillance of Vail interfere with her rights under FMLA? Explain. See Vail v. Raybestos, 533 F.3d 904 (7th Cir. 2008). c. An employee who had been on FMLA leave for incapacitating back pain posted photos to her Facebook page (as did her friend) showing her drinking and dancing over a period of at least eight hours at a local festival. Several of the employees’ coworkers who were her Facebook friends told management what they had seen on the employee’s page; the employee was fired as a result. The employee sued the employer for retaliation and interference with her FMLA rights. Decide. Explain. See Jaszczyszyn v. Advantage Health Physician Network, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23162 (6th Cir. 2012), unpubd. op.
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