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ORANGE COUNTY SHOP TALK

Man on Family Leave Could Have Bias Claim

February 11, 2001

Q: My husband is taking leave under the family leave act. He is not collecting any compensation during this leave from any state government agency.

His employer has stated that he can't receive his year-end bonus, even though he met all of the requirements for it, because it is against the law to compensate someone who is on leave. Is this true? --L.B., Ventura

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A: No. In fact, your husband may have a valid claim that he has been discriminated against because he took a family leave. He would have to establish that he would have received the bonus had he not taken the family leave.

If his employer persists in refusing to pay the bonus, your husband may wish to contact the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing or the U.S. Department of Labor to assist him in determining whether he has a valid claim. The numbers for these agencies are in the telephone book.

--Diane J. Crumpacker

Management law attorney

Fried, Bird & Crumpacker

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If you have a question about an on-the-job situation, please mail it to Shop Talk, Los Angeles Times, P.O. Box 2008, Costa Mesa, CA 92626; dictate it to (714) 966-7873, or e-mail it to shoptalk@latimes.com. Include your initials and hometown. The Shop Talk column is designed to answer questions of general interest. It should not be construed as legal advice. Recent Shop Talk columns are available at http://www.latimes.com/shoptalk.

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