Podcast Episode 29: Recent Case Outlines FMLA and Leave Issues and ERISA Sec. 510 Claims

In this episode, Beth Allen and Chase Cannon break down a recent case (Stein v. Atlas Industries, Inc.) being litigated in federal court. Beth outlines the facts of the case, which involve an employee who had two events going on — his son’s extremely serious medical event and his own torn meniscus, which led him to be out on an FMLA-protected leave. Eventually, the employer terminated the employee for not following proper employer-outlined protocol with regard to employee notification for absences from work. Beth describes the employee’s claims against the employer, which were based on the employee’s FMLA protections and on ERISA Section 510, which generally prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee (including terminating them) for exercising a right granted under ERISA. The employee claimed that the employer was terminating him due to the high claims and costs associated with his son’s medical event. Beth unpacks the arguments of both the employee and employer and explores why the court allowed the case to proceed to the jury. Beth also expertly describes the important takeaways for employers, including the importance of separating employment decisions from employee benefit plan decisions, keeping protected health information private, establishing definitive FMLA and leave policies and procedures, and consulting with legal counsel in tricky situations.

Every other week, NFP's legal experts make the subject of compliance personal for a wide audience. By breaking down the daunting details of emerging policies and bridging the gap between legislation and what it means for the listener, Chase Cannon and Suzanne Spradley make compliance issues relatable and relevant. Visit our Visit our Soundcloud page every two weeks for the most up-to-date episode.

Subscribe to The Benefits Compliance Podcast! Listen on Google Play Music