Culinart, Inc. Allegedly Fails to Offer Eligible Employee FMLA Leave and Terminates Him When He Requests FMLA Leave.


Employee Files Lawsuit against Culinart, Inc. and General Manager for FMLA Violation

In the beginning of 2010, Aldo was hired by Culinart, Inc. to be a banquet chef at Carnegie Mellon University. Four years later, Culinart promoted Aldo to executive chef with the added responsibilities of creating schedules, ordering food, and organizing catering events. That same year, Aldo’s expectant wife was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her eye. In May, four months before his child’s birth, Aldo requested two weeks off when the baby was born. Aldo needed this time off to care for his wife and child, since his wife would seek treatment for cancer after giving birth.

Although Culinart granted the two weeks leave, Aldo shares that they never offered him FMLA leave, despite being clearly eligible.Although Culinart granted the two weeks leave, Aldo shares that they never offered him FMLA leave, despite being clearly eligible. Starting in March, Aldo worked a flexible schedule so he could care for his wife. No one reprimanded him for his flexible working style, and, according to Aldo, neither did the company suggest that he file for FMLA. At the beginning of August, birth complications spurred a premature birth, and Aldo’s child was born with neonatal jaundice. Aldo spent two days in the hospital watching over his wife and child. At this time, Aldo took his approved two week leave, and his wife began radiation treatment for the cancer in her eye. The radiation treatment failed to work, and the doctor told the couple that the wife’s best option was the removal of her left eye.

A coworker shared with Aldo that the managerial staff had been complaining about his absences. So, on Aldo’s first day back to work, he visited the Human Resources department and requested FMLA paperwork to fill out. While Aldo filled out the paperwork, his boss call him into her office and terminated him allegedly for “performance issues.”

Because Aldo has no history of poor work performance and Culinart allegedly never offered him FMLA leave, Aldo suspects that Culinart and his boss didn’t want him to access his legal right to FMLA leave. In fact, when Aldo set a flexible schedule for himself, no one said anything. But, when he requested FMLA leave, he was terminated. The law is clear about a business’s obligations to offer FMLA to eligible employees. KM&A fights for employees like Aldo, who have been taken advantage of by their employers.

Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:05-mc-02025

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 Martell Harris at 412-626-5585 or at

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.