Mr. Martin was employed under an employment contract with a school district, which was renewable annually. After receiving a poor job review, he was placed on notice that he was allowed a month and a half to “demonstrate significant progress” in improving his performance.
Meanwhile, at home living with him was his daughter – a student and member of the Army Reserve – and her infant daughter. Ten days after getting placed on the job improvement plan, Mr. Martin requested 12 weeks of FMLA leave to care for his granddaughter because his daughter’s unit had been called to active duty for deployment overseas.
He took the leave as scheduled and the district notified him that it would not renew his contract. He sued alleging interference with his FMLA rights and retaliation for taking leave.
FMLA permits leave to care for a son or daughter, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, literally meaning in Latin, “in the place of a parent” for such a child. The federal court found Mr. Martin stood in loco parentis as to his granddaughter.
Thus, the close time period between his FMLA leave and his job firing was more than sufficient to establish a case of FMLA discrimination.