James v. Hyatt Regency Chicago

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Family Medical Leave Act
Case Number: 
No. 12-1511
Decision Date: 
February 13, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendant-employer’s motion for summary judgment in FMLA action alleging that defendant wrongfully required plaintiff to remain on FMLA leave and refused to promptly reinstate him to his job after plaintiff’s physician released plaintiff to return to work on “light-duty” status. There is no duty under FMLA to return employee to former position where, as here: (1) plaintiff could not do all essential duties of former position under terms of release; and (2) prior to rescheduled return date, plaintiff presented defendant with additional doctor certifications indicating that plaintiff was completely unable to do any work in any capacity. Moreover, plaintiff could not establish similar FMLA retaliation claim where record showed that: (1) defendant made several attempts to return plaintiff to work by seeking clarification on two limited releases; (2 ) plaintiff failed to respond to defendant’s requests for clarification; and (3) once defendant received clarifying letter from one physician, it promptly scheduled meeting with plaintiff to discuss his return.