An employer may terminate an employee who is taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 if that termination is part of a legitimate reduction-in-force, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Jan. 28 (O’Connor v. PCA Family Health Plan Inc., 11th Cir., Nos. 97-5879 and 98-5121, 1/18/00).

Debra Lee O’Connor, an employee of PCA Family Health Plan Inc., requested and received a period of FMLA leave after she became pregnant. While she was on leave, PCA began a series of layoffs prompted by its losses over the preceding two years. Supervisors submitted names of employees to be terminated, and O’Connor’s name was on one of those lists.

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