Director Allegedly Labels Employee’s Use of FMLA Leave for a Family Member “Extreme.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit Against New Penn Motor Express For Disability Discrimination
Adalberto joined New Penn Motor Express as an account executive in 2010. Although he suffers from anxiety and depression, he is still able to perform his job duties. But, when Adalberto’s family went through a traumatic private matter in spring 2016, he experienced extreme stress and anxiety. The event shook him up so much that he sought therapy, counseling and anxiety medication. Even though his work and life began to be impacted by his mental health, Adalberto still endeavored to do his work as well as possible.
When the director found out about Adalberto’s FMLA leave, he allegedly said, “I didn’t think you would go to the extreme of taking days off.”A few months later, Adalberto had a meeting with his director about performance-related issues. The director knew about Adalberto’s private family matter. During the meeting, it was concluded that Adalberto should speak with HR. Adalberto received approval for intermittent FMLA leave. When the director found out about Adalberto’s FMLA leave, he allegedly said, “I didn’t think you would go to the extreme of taking days off.”
Adalberto emailed the dates of his FMLA leave to his supervisors. A few weeks later, he deviated from his schedule so he could more efficiently complete administrative work. However, one of the VPs wanted to make a joint sales call with Adalberto, but Adalberto’s cell service couldn’t support the call. Adalberto had always exercised the flexibility to change his schedule as needed to accommodate his work.
On one of Adalberto’s FMLA-approved days off, the VP called and demanded to speak with him immediately. Adalberto reminded him that he had the day off, but that he would call the following day. The next day when Adalberto talked to the VP, the VP accused him of having different mileage than his itinerary. Adalberto requested to see the report, but the VP refused. Intimidated by the phone call exchange, Adalberto sought out the report and printed out his own copy to explain the legitimate business reason that prompted him to change his itinerary.
“Go home for the day since you don’t have any calls scheduled.” The VP allegedly commanded. Adalberto did have phone calls that he had been pressured by the company to make, but the VP sent him home. That same day, Adalberto was fired without any given reason. According to Adalberto, he had never been disciplined while working for New Penn Motor Express until the company found out about his disability and need for FMLA. After all, Adalberto points out that he was fired three weeks after he was approved for FMLA leave. KM&A champions the rights of employees like Adalberto who face discrimination due to disability.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 4:17-cv-01743-RDM
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.