In the case of Stephens v. Neighborhood Service
Organization, while an employee was out on a Family
Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave, the employer redistributed
the employee’s workload to other workers and discovered
that the employee on Leave was no longer needed.
When the employee returned to work, she was handed a “Pink
Slip” and told that her job had been eliminated.
The employee sued. The employer asked for a summary
judgment and was denied by the court. The case is
proceeding to trial
HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: If you don’t have well written job
descriptions that specify responsibilities, estimated
hours per day or week, expected results for job duties,
etc., then you really don’t have good control of your
This case is a prime example of an employer finally
realizing how little one employee had to do as soon as
that employee was no longer around.
Who was monitoring this employee while she was on the job?
Certainly nobody on the management team!
If you are serious about maximizing the productivity of
your employees, check out my Done-For-You Process-Oriented
Job Descriptions for a review of how a job description can
keep you out of a lawsuit like the one noted above.