What is Retaliation Under the PFMLA?
The Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave Act ("PFMLA"), like the federal FMLA, prohibits retaliation for or interference with an employee's use of protected leave time.
Unlike the FMLA, the PFMLA includes an explicit presumption that if an adverse employment action (termination, suspension, discipline, or other change in status) with 6 months of the leave, there is a presumption that the employer had a retaliatory motive.
A "presumption" is something that can be rebutted with clear documentary evidence of a legitimate, non-retaliatory motive, and the statute also provides that documentation of pre-leave warnings and the employee's failure to meet clearly set expectations after the leave can suffice to rebut the presumption.
Nonetheless, this puts employers in a weak starting position if they feel they need to make an employment decision shortly after a PFMLA leave. If you are unsure whether an post-leave employment decision violates the PFMLA, it is a good idea to consult an employment lawyer as soon as possible.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave law.
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