Limiting the use of personal leave accruals
Johnston v ITT Aerospace/Communications, CA7, 272 F.3d 498
Sometimes an employee will challenge his or her employer's placing restrictions on the use of an employee's personal leave accruals. In the Johnston case, the Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an employer's leave policy that distinguished between granting paid leave in connection with an individual's responding to a court order and the employee's filing a lawsuit on his or her own behalf, was lawful.
Kevin M. Johnston, an employee of ITT Aerospace/Communications Division of ITT Industries, Inc., challenged the company's attendance policy, which contains an exception for absences that are due to the employee's being ordered by a court “to appear as a witness (not a party).” The issue was raised as part of Johnston's Title VII law suit against ITT after he was assessed two unexcused absences for days on which he attended a preliminary pretrial conference, and gave his deposition, in the Title VII action that he filed against ITT.
The Circuit Court concluded that “[t]here is nothing unlawful about a leave policy that distinguishes between leave that is due to a court order and leave to enable an employee to engage in private business, including the filing of lawsuits.”