Analysis of Equitable Estoppel and Family Medical Leave Act (Part 1 of 2)

As a California Employment Attorney, I recently handled a case on behalf of an employee who worked for employer in 2003 for approximately two months. The employee also worked for his employer in 2004 for approximately eight months and in 2005 for approximately three months. Thereafter, the employee worked for his employer on or about September 2007, as a Produce Clerk.

In or about November 2007, the employee informed the Store Manager that his wife was pregnant with a high risk pregnancy. The Store Manager responded by asking the employee, "if he really was married or was he messing with him?" The employee responded yes that he had placed his wife's name on his job application. In or about December 2007, in order to prove to the Store Manager that the employee was married, he took his marriage certificate to the Store Manager, who looked at it and said "okay".

In or about January 2008, the employee asked the Store Manager if he could have the day off to go to the doctor with his pregnant wife. Store Manager gave the employee four days off to take care of what he had to take care of. On the fourth day employee went to the store to see the Store Manager to let him know that his wife was hospitalized on the third day that he was off work because she required an emergency c-section and requested an additional one week off. The employee also provided the Store Manager with a doctor's note regarding his wife's condition. Store Manager asked the employee to fill out an affidavit and authorized the employee to take one week off. Store Manager asked the employee to bring a doctor's note or hospital discharge note for his wife upon his return to work.

Employee's wife gave birth to a baby boy in January 2008. However, because the baby was premature, the baby was hospitalized and discharged two weeks after his birth.

The day before the employee was to return to work, he took a doctor's note to the Store Manager, as requested, and the employee wanted to get his schedule for the day that he was supposed to return back to work. When the employee gave the doctor's note to the Store Manager, he simply looked at it and told him that he does not need it anymore because the employee was terminated.

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