Can a Human Resources Director be sued individually under the family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?  

An interesting case to follow is one decided by the Second Circuit: Graziadio v. Culinary Institute of America, et al., No. 15-888-cv (2d Cir. Mar. 17, 2016).

This case involved the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The court held that the Human Resources Director could be considered an employer. Further, the HR Director could be held liable under the FMLA.

The court looked at four factors which were based on the Fair Labor Standards Act Economic Reality Test. Did the HR Director have:

  1. The right to hire and fire
  2. Supervise and Control employee work schedules and conditions
  3. Establish rates of pay and
  4. Retained employment records.

Human Resources Personnel should be aware that they could be individually liable under the FMLA.

The case in chief was based on failure of the employer to handle the request under the FMLA in a reasonable manner.