The District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that a legal secretary’s employer violated the ERISA when it refused to make a year-end contribution to her account in the firm’s profit-sharing plan while she was on medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, the employee took leave from her position in September 2007 to have surgery on her wrists. Unable to return to work after the surgery, the employee applied for, and was granted, disability benefits in 2008, retroactive to December 2007. Her employer refused to make a contribution to her profit-sharing account for 2007, claiming she was not an employee during the period she was on leave. The plan requires a participant to be employed by the firm on the last day of the year to receive a profit-sharing contribution. The district court disagreed with the employer, ruling that the secretary was indeed an employee on December 31, 2007. Because she was on sick leave under the FMLA at the time, “her job could not be taken away.” The court also noted that her employer did not consider her a non-employee, given their careful efforts to get her to “resign” from her position in February 2008. Given her protected status under the FMLA, the employee should have been treated as an active employee at the end of the year, and her employer should have made a contribution for her to the firm’s profit-sharing plan. (Dorsey v. Jacobson Holman PLLC, DDC 2010)