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Employee’s retaliation claim can continue, court rules

Florida employees may be interested to learn that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that an employee could continue his retaliation claim against his employer. The employee claimed that the company fired him for taking his leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act instead of inappropriately touching another co-worker as alleged by the company.

The employee was hired as a full-time employee by a supply company in late 2012. His job was to take items off conveyor belts and package them up for delivery. In July 2014, he alleged that he passed out at work due to an inoperable brain tumor and other life-impacting disorders. As a result, he requested FMLA leave. He used another day of medical leave in August. In September, he allegedly fell behind in his work. Shortly afterward, he was told by his employer that he was being fired after inappropriately touching another employee.

He then sued the company for unlawful FMLA retaliation, and the company filed a motion to dismiss.In response, the employee argued that the employer had a history of discouraging FMLA leave use by terminating employees who took it. The court ultimately determined that the employee’s allegations were sufficient even though some time had passed between his last request for FMLA leave.

If an employee is fired for requesting time off for medical leave, a Boca Raton, Florida, FMLA discrimination attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful termination. Depending on the situation, the attorney may seek to have the employer reinstated as well as compensation for back pay.

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