Terminating Employees on Job-Protected Leave: Avoiding FMLA and ADA Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare employment counsel to navigate difficult performance and termination decisions that arise while an employee is on job-protected leave. The panel will outline an employer’s obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other leave protection laws, and outline best practices for documenting performance issues and disciplinary actions and avoiding retaliation claims.


Terminating or disciplining an employee for performance or disciplinary reasons is difficult under the best of circumstances. Terminating or disciplining an employee who is on job-protected leave adds layers of complexity and can expose an employer to costly claims and lawsuits for retaliation and/or interference.

The FMLA, ADA and state workers’ compensation statutes all protect employees who need to take time off from work because of medical, disability or family issues. These laws intersect and overlap, and in some cases, an employee may be protected under all three.

Disciplining or discharging an employee who is on leave or recently returned from leave is fraught with litigation risks. Courts scrutinize timing if claims are filed, and employers must have documentation supporting the action.

Listen as our experienced panel of employment attorneys discusses strategies for navigating difficult performance and termination decisions when they arise while an employee is on job-protected leave. The panel will discuss how the FMLA, ADA and state workers’ compensation leave laws intersect, and outline best practices for handling performance issues and avoiding retaliation claims.



  1. Brief overview of federal and state leave protection laws
  2. Documentation best practices
  3. Timing considerations
  4. Strategies for overcoming abuse
  5. Review of recent case law
  6. Best practices to avoid retaliation claims


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can employers respond to common types of employee leave abuse without violating the law?
  • How can employers ensure compliance in situations where they must navigate multiple laws regulating employee leave?
  • How can employers approach disciplining an employee claiming entitlement to leave, special ADA consideration or workers’ comp?
  • What are the best practices to implement to avoid retaliation/discrimination claims under the FMLA, ADA or workers’ comp?
  • When is it permissible to terminate an employee on FMLA leave?
  • How do courts evaluate timing issues in retaliation cases?


Johnson, Louisa
Louisa J. Johnson

Seyfarth Shaw

Ms. Johnson is a member of the firm’s national Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group where she devotes the...  |  Read More

Pontz, Evan
Evan H. Pontz

Troutman Sanders

Mr. Pontz specializes in employment and labor law matters, including discrimination litigation, traditional labor law...  |  Read More

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