Budhun v. Reading Hosp. & Med. Ctr., No. 11-4625 (3d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In 2008, Budhun was hired by BHP. About 60 percent of her job was typing. She had received a final warning for tardiness, making her ineligible for transfer within the organization. Budhun took four weeks of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. 2691, leave early in 2010. Budhun broke a bone in her hand in July 2010, unrelated to her job. Budhun returned some FMLA paperwork 10 days later, attaching a doctor's note, dated August 10, and stating that she could return to work on August 16, “No restrictions in splint.” Budhun returned to work, submitted the leave form, and stated that certification would arrive from the doctor in several days. There was a dispute about whether she could return to work if she could not type at full speed; the doctor’s statement was unclear. BHP extended FMLA leave until September 23, when her FMLA leave was exhausted, and approved non-FMLA leave through November 9. When she did not return after FMLA leave, BHP offered her position to another. Budhun was not eligible to transfer to another position. She was on leave, with benefits, through November 9, when BHP considered her to have voluntarily resigned. Budhun sued, alleging FMLA interference and retaliation. The court entered summary judgment for BHP, stating that Budhun suffered no adverse employment action because she was medically unable to return to work after her FMLA leave, and that Budhun could not establish any nexus between her termination and her FMLA leave, having been terminated months later. The Third Circuit vacated, reasoning that the adverse employment action occurred when Budhun was replaced.