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New York Appeals Court Imposes Individual Employee Liability for Interfering with FMLA Leave and Retaliation

04/12/2016

On March 17, 2016, the federal Court of Appeals in New York held for the first time as Second Circuit law that a human resources director and other managers can be liable for personally violating another employee’s rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The Court applied the familiar “economic reality test” used under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to determine if responsible employees can be held personally responsible in such cases. The decision appears to reflect a steady acceptance of individual liability in FMLA cases as the Court of Appeals followed the lead of three other federal appellate courts, and several district courts within its own circuit in reaching its decision.

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