Sandra Holland took time off from her work at The Methodist Hospital to undergo a pacemaker replacement. Her leave was approved under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Following the procedure, she had to take off intermittent FMLA leave to attend doctor’s appointments.
As part of her Patient Account Representative job, Ms. Holland was required to work on 65 accounts per day. This quota of 65 accounts was based on the hours worked. It was Ms. Holland’s contention that her employer did not deduct her FMLA time from the amount of cases in her quota. She was unable to meet the usual number of cases because of the time she spent on her intermittent FMLA leave.
In response to her claim of interference with FMLA, the federal district court held that FMLA leave might be “illusory” if the employee was held to the same standards as if working the full hours. Under the FMLA, employees may still be required to maintain a certain quality in their work. It is the quantity of work that may have to be adjusted. FMLA provides employees a right to unpaid leave. Thus, employers that deny bonus pay when an employee is not producing at the expected level are not violating FMLA. However, disciplining an employee based on non-adjusted performance standards could reflect that the employer interfered with the employee’s rights under the FMLA.