Even though the Family Medical Leave Act has been in place since 1993, there are still employers in Texas and elsewhere that do not abide by the law when the benefit is used. An employee of the Cabell County Commission in another state claims that her rights were violated when she used her benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act. She has now filed a federal lawsuit to attempt to right the injustices against her.
After 13 years of service, the plaintiff was required to have surgery performed on her kidneys due to her cancer. To recover from her procedure, the plaintiff claims that she had to take a month off from her job. When she came back to work, she alleges that her work environment had become unfavorable. During discussions that she had with her co-workers, the cost of her health care came up consistently, which made her uncomfortable.
Ultimately, the plaintiff was fired and the reason for her termination was that things were not working out. Prior to her surgery, the plaintiff claims she had worked in a peaceful environment. Additionally, during her tenure, she alleges that she never had a review and was never told that she had to improve her work performance.
The plaintiff believes that the true reason she was fired was that she had taken advantage of the Family Medical Leave Act benefit. She also is suing for discrimination and violation of the Human Rights Act. Texas employees are already struggling with a difficult time when they request to take leave under the FMLA, and it is illegal for employers to make their situations worse by causing undue emotional stress and/or terminating them for exercising their rights.
Source: herald-dispatch, "Clerk claims unjust firing after cancer surgery", Curtis Johnson, Aug. 13, 2015