An employee of the Department of Child Services in another state recently filed a lawsuit against her employer after experiencing wrongful discipline and termination. She says these actions took place after she needed time off for medical concerns, but before she could file the appropriate Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork. She had recurring absences from work because of disabilities but claims she had a right to FMLA leave.
This federal law provides employees in Florida and other states the ability to take up to 12 weeks of time off from work for medical concerns or family-related needs without termination or retaliation. The employee says she experiences regular occurrences of vertigo, migraines and anxiety that affect her ability to work. Even though she would be eligible for FMLA leave for these things, her employer placed her on a 60-day work improvement plan.
At a later date, her doctor recommended that she not return to work because of her ongoing medical issues. Her employer immediately demanded she provide a note from the doctor, verifying this. Three days later, the employee was placed on desk duty, but the employer did acknowledge later that her absence would qualify as FMLA leave. Eventually, she was terminated. She is seeking reinstatement of her position and damages.
FMLA discrimination is unacceptable in any Florida workplace. If an employee experiences this type of mistreatment, he or she has the right to pursue compensation through a civil claim. It may help to discuss this option with an experienced attorney to determine if this is an option.