A counseling agency in Payson, Arizona sued a former employee — whom we’ll call *Todd* — for posting on Facebook that he was fired over his newborn’s medical needs.
The Facts Of This Facebook Defamation Case
Three months after Todd’s sickly son came into the world, Horizon Human Services fired him. Convinced that increased health insurance needs rooted his dismissal, Austin posted the following on Facebook:
“The COO of Horizon Human Services…was the architect of my termination, and the CEO…was the one who executed it. They have fired many sick employees without a thought or care in the world for the horrible position they are placing those people in.”
After Todd went public with his family’s plight, thousands of supporters flocked to his aid, lending both emotional and financial support.
But Horizon Human Services insists that Todd’s side of the story isn’t the whole story. According to the company, Todd lost his job for other reasons.
The Family Medical Leave Act Affects This Facebook Defamation Case
When his son was born, Todd says he took advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Passed in 1993, the FMLA allows employees who’ve worked for a year or more, at a mid-sized or larger company, to take extended leave in the event of family health emergencies. The law also allows workers to amend their schedules, for up to 26 weeks in a 12-month period.
Horizon argued that even though Todd submitted the FLMA documents and modified his work schedule, due to a previous probation, he had “no access to benefits for prior substandard work performance.” Todd, however, disputes his former employer’s legal interpretation and insists he satisfied caseload requirements in accordance with FMLA standards.
Facebook Defamation Legal Consultation
What’s the silver lining in this Facebook defamation case? Todd’s son seems to be pulling through. While he still has to undergo considerable therapy, the little fighter is doing better.
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