No FMLA Certification for Reduced Schedule Leave, No Retaliation Claim

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held in Ridings v. Riverside Medical Center that an employee did not establish a claim for retaliation, where the employee was permitted to work a reduced schedule but failed to comply with the employer's request to either submit her FMLA paperwork or work a full schedule. 

The employee worked with the employer for several years and received good performance reviews.  After being diagnosed with an illness, she began working a modified workday.  After permitting the reduced schedule for some time, the employer informed her that she needed to work a full schedule.  When she presented a note from her physician that she could not work a full schedule, the employer notified her that she needed to submit FMLA paperwork if she wanted to continue to a work a modified schedule.  The employee failed to provide the FMLA paperwork after multiple requests, and eventually was terminated. 
 
The employee argued that she established an inference of discrimination because her performance did not suffer when she worked a reduced schedule.  The Seventh Circuit held that the employer had the right to request the FMLA forms, and it could not be deemed to have retaliated against the employee by asking her to fulfill her FMLA obligation.
 
See the link below for the Opinion in Ridings v. Riverside Medical Center

www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/IL0ZTXSU.pdf