Fifth Circuit Extends Mixed-Motive to FMLA

The Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion in Richardson v. Monitronics International, Cause No. 05-10346 (December 21, 2005), extending the Desert Palace mixed-motive analysis to retalliation cases brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Court has already extended Desert Palace to claims under the ADEA.In reaching its conclusion, the Court noted that its decision to extend mixed-motive analysis to the FMLA is supported by the Department of Labor's enforcement regulations. The regulations state that an employer may not discriminate against an employee who has taken FMLA leave, specifying by example that "employers cannot use the taking of FMLA leave as a negative factor in employment actions. See 29 C.F.R. § 825.220.

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