Facebook and FMLA – No Longer Friends.

This one I had to share: Carol Lineberry, a nurse in Michigan, went out on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, asserting she could not walk or stand for extended periods and could not lift more than 5-10 pounds due to “excruciating” back pain.

Nevertheless, while out on leave she decided to take a pre-planned, pre-paid family vacation to Mexico, with her doctor’s approval, claiming she had to use a wheelchair while traveling.

The gig was up when coworkers discovered photos posted on Facebook, including ones of her carrying her two 15-pound-plus baby grandchildren in her arms. The employer fired her after confronting her with the photos, and she admitted to lying about using wheelchairs on her trip. The court upheld the firing as not related to the employee’s exercise of FMLA rights.

Michael Homans is a Labor & Employment attorney and Chair of the Litigation Department at Flaster Greenberg PC. For more employment law updates, including news and links to important information pertaining to legal developments that may affect your business, subscribe to Michael’s blog, or follow him on Twitter @EmployLawUpdate.

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