Does the FMLA protect ineligible employees who inquire about taking FMLA leave?

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Near the beginning of the pandemic, an employee requested unpaid leave to care for her two-year-old son—a child with a history of respiratory illness experiencing symptoms resembling COVID-19. But she never ended up taking FMLA leave.

Instead, she used PTO on Monday and Tuesday. The next day (Wednesday) was a scheduled work-from-home day. Meanwhile, the son’s symptoms worsened, and on Thursday, the employee asked to work from home on Thursday and Friday. HR approved the request. However, later on Thursday, the company changed its tune. HR emailed the employee a termination letter, signed by her boss, indicating that the

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