Federal Court Paves the Way For Employee to Puruse FMLA Claim Against Non-Employer

In perhaps a case of first impression, a federal district court judge has refused to throw out a lawsuit against a non-employer involving an FMLA claim.  Luis Arango worked for Sysco, a marketer and distributor of food service products.  Work & Well administered time off requests for the company's employees.  Arango claimed that Work & Well falsely told him that he was ineligible for part of the leave, prompting Sysco to fire him.  The court held that Arango was not shielded from the consultant's privilege (which would ordinarily shield it if it gave good faith advice) since there was enough evidence that the defendant did not give honest advice to Sysco.  Work & Well promised to "ensure consistent, complete FMLA compliance" in its contract with Sysco.  The evidence also showed that Work & Well also promised to reduce the number of FMLA leaves and the days off associated with those leaves.  The court did not rule on the merits of the claim, but with the ruling, the case can now proceed to trial.
Categories: Employment Law