Going on a medical leave is something that employees should be able to do without fearing that they will be retaliated against upon their return. While many employees can take leaves covered by the Family Medical Leave Act without any issues, other employees do face troubles upon their return to work. A recent lawsuit filed in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas alleges that College of the Mainland acted in a manner that was discriminatory.
The May 16 lawsuit alleges that an employee went on a leave covered by the FMLA from Oct. 25, 2012 through Feb. 7, 2013. The school then opted to extend that leave through March 17, 2013. The woman was fired on May 18, 2013.
From the time she returned to work through her termination date, the woman alleges that she was discriminated against. She claims she was taken off of normal work and told to work on special projects.
The lawsuit is asking that the woman be reinstated. She is also asking for attorney's fees, back pay, damages and front pay. She wants a judgment that the defendant's actions were done in a discriminatory manner.
The FMLA was put into place to provide workers protections in the event of a situation necessitating a leave that qualifies under the act. There is no reason for employers to discriminate against employees who have to take a medical leave for personal medical problems or family responsibilities. Those who feel they have been retaliated against for taking this leave might be able to receive compensation for damages by filing a lawsuit, just as this woman did.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "College of Mainland sued for alleged FMLA violations" Annie Cosby, May. 26, 2014