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Collective Bargaining Agreement And Fmla

The collective agreements in question offered paid leave for family and medical reasons, which would likely constitute fmla leave, but required (or at least allowed) the use of paid leave before taking FMLA leave. However, the DOL would not be in favour of this: although a worker is entitled to paid family and medical leave under a collective agreement, the employer must still have a period of family and unpaid health leave (FMLA) as such, even if the worker prefers to use paid leave as such. A CBA may contain stricter certification and return requirements than FMLA. Have we not only found that a CBA can offer more protection than the FMLA, but not less? Doesn`t this requirement provide less protection for an employee? Doesn`t that mean that a staff member who proposes certification or a return date under the FMLA is entitled to reinstatement? The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Harrell v USPS 445 F.3d 913 (2006) said no. In this case, the worker gave his doctor the certificate that he would need four weeks of leave, followed by another medical mention indicating his return on the work date. Harrell submitted that these certifications complied with FMLA requirements and that he should therefore have returned to work on the specified date. However, the CBA required documentation on the nature and treatment of his illness, the medications he was taking and data he could not work with. When Harrell refused to meet the CBA`s requirements, he was fired. The court ruled against Harrell by referring to 29 USC Section 2614 (a) (a), which allows employers to impose a uniform enforcement policy requiring workers returning from fmla leave to comply with stricter requirements than those imposed by the FMLA itself. In the same section, it is also stated that the provision authorizing the return to work is not a substitute for a current government or local collective or collective agreement governing the return of workers to the workplace. Similarly, Harris v Emergency Providers Inc. 02-1056 (8th Circuit 2002) found that, under the current CBA, an employer could request a medical fitness examination before a worker returns to work after medical leave.