Aspen Company Allegedly Denies Long-Standing Veteran Employee His FMLA Time, and Tells Him to “Change [His] Attitude.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee files lawsuit against Aspen Companies Management LLC
Paul began working as a Maintenance Supervisor on January 22, 2008 for AMCO. Defendant, Aspen Companies Management LLC (“ACM”) acquired Paul’s employer – then PK Management – on June 29, 2017. Following that acquisition ACM assumed control of Paul’s employment, with his worksite, working conditions, responsibilities and equipment remaining the same. The only change made was the entity in which paid him.
Prior to working at either above-mentioned company, Paul served his country in the United States Army for five years. He was medically discharged due to a bad knee, sleep apnea and PTSD in 2007.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 30% of Paul’s discharge was attributed to his PTSD. This was re-evaluated in 2017, and the VA increased his discharge percentage to 50%.
Throughout his employment with ACM and its predecessors, Paul met with his therapist at least twice a week and took multiple medications to treat his PTSD. In September of 2017, Paul requested a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). He alleges he was told by the Property Manager that it was not a good time to leave because Aspen was buying another company.
Against Paul’s better judgment, he decided to wait, and once ACM’s purchase was complete, he approached his Property Manager once again to request his FMLA time off. With Paul’s new request, he also submitted a letter from his therapist explaining why this time off was medically necessary treat his PTSD. He was denied again, and told “change your attitude.”
Paul claims that he was permitted a one-week unpaid leave, with an explicit understanding that he would not be allowed to return to work without a psychiatric clearance from his doctor. According to Paul, his manager believed that because he has PTSD he must be a violent person. Given his work history, this is completely unfounded and discriminatory in nature.
According to Paul, on Friday, September 8, 2017, at 2:00 PM his property manager told him that if he was not resigning that he would need to return to work by Monday, September 11, 2017, with the psychiatric clearance. Paul stated to management that he was not resigning but explained that he didn’t know how he was supposed to get the requested psychiatric exam by that following Monday. When he inquired, the deadline was then extended to September 13th.
Paul made every attempt to comply with obtaining this vaguely defined “psychiatric clearance” to return to work. However, this was made very difficult for him, mainly because PTSD is incurable and is a condition Paul will contend with throughout his life. Regardless of the date extension and his best efforts, Paul was terminated on September 8, 2017.
Paul attests that ACM terminated his position because of his disability, and his request to use his legally entitled FMLA time to seek treatment for it.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with District Court of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:18-cv-01703-NBF
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.
For more information about this case, contact Attorney Colin P. Saltry at 215-475-3544 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.