Ford Motor wins Family Medical Leave Act dispute
In Carter v. Ford Motor Company, the Sixth Circuit upheld Ford's discharge of the plaintiff, despite her claims of violation of the FMLA. The Court noted that Carter had not complied with the company's procedural requirements for extending her leave, and that her attempt to return to work on a probationary basis "did not go smoothly".
Carter was originally fired for failing to properly extend her two week leave. She appealed this initial termination and was reinstated by agreement, subject to a 12 month probationary period when she could be fired for "any misconduct or violation of rules". On her return to work there were several disputes over alleged sexual harassment, which Ford allegedly addressed adminstratively, but apparently not to Carter's satisfaction. She was involved in an altercation with the Human Rights representative as she left one of these meetings and then failed to report to work the following day. The Court concluded that based on the record before it, Ford was within its rights in terminating her employment, despite her [unsubstantiated] claim that she phoned the medical department to request additional leave.