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Employers May Be Liable for Hostile Environment Caused by Non-Employees

A recent decision by the United States District Court for the District of Delaware serves as an important reminder that employers may be held liable for acts of harassment by individuals with whom their employees come in contact, even when those individuals are not employees.
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Intermittent FMLA Absences Not Subject to Proof of Need

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a decision that provides a cautionary tale to employers about seeking documentation from an employee on intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. The Court held that an employer’s request for “proof of need” related to an employee’s intermittent absence was evidence of interference with the employee’s FMLA rights and thus precluded summary judgment for the employer.
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Employer Obligations When Employee On Leave Gives An Indefinite Return Date

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”) has held that an employer engaged in unlawful disability discrimination when it terminated an employee whose medical leave had ended and who could not provide a definite return to work date. The MCAD found that the employer had an obligation to engage in the interactive process to determine if extending the requested leave was a reasonable accommodation for the employee’s disability.
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