Kelley Co., Inc. v. Marquardt

Plaintiff Marquardt took eight weeks off for maternity leave and vacation.  During that time, her supervisor reorganized the division in which she worked and redefined her responsibilities.  He did not inform her of these changes.  Included in the reorganization was the elimination of plaintiff’s position as credit manager.  The position was divided into two positions, and Marquardt’s supervisory responsibilities decreased.  Her new position also involved 25% clerical work, whereas in her old position, she had no clerical work.  She received the same pay and benefits and had the same office as her prior position.  The Court found that the plaintiff in this case was not returned to her equivalent employment position after her return from maternity leave, which is required under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  It held that although an employer may reorganize a department while an employee is on leave, and give an employee new job duties, it must still give the employee equivalent job duties.  An equivalent employment position “means a position with equivalent compensation, benefits, working shift, hours of employment, job status, responsibility and authority.”  It also held that the plaintiff was properly awarded back pay and that plaintiff’s “interim earnings and amounts earnable with reasonable diligence should be considered when back pay is awarded under the FMLA.”



Avon Center work product