Employee Believes Her Termination Occurred Due to Her Need of FMLA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit against Allegheny County Jail for Disability Discrimination
Stacy began working at Allegheny County Jail as a corrections officer in July 2006. On a daily basis, Stacy manages her disability of severe depressive order that includes anxiety, panic attacks, and migraines. Allegheny County Jail was aware of her disability because she had applied for and received FMLA benefits over the years of her employment.
When Stacy approached her captain to point out the disparity of treatment, Stacy shared that her captain basically said that she didn’t like Stacy and would be “watching” her.In October 2015, Stacy recalled that she was issued a “last chance agreement” for allegedly breaking a rule. During her lunch break, she’d suffered an intense migraine so she shut her eyes. Her supervising captain wrote her up for “sleeping” during her lunch break despite her insistence that she’d only been sitting with her eyes shut. Stacy was suspended for 5 days. Meanwhile, she noticed that other coworkers were not written up for similar conduct. When Stacy approached her captain to point out the disparity of treatment, Stacy shared that her captain basically said that she didn’t like Stacy and would be “watching” her.
For a few months, things quieted down, and Stacy hoped for the best. But then, in August 2016, Stacy arrived at work as usual, entering through the metal detector. During the routine bag search, the contents of Stacy’s bag were spilled, including her medications. Items were haphazardly returned to her bag.
Two supervising captains stopped Stacy on her way to punch in for work, and according to Stacy, they questioned her about the contents of her bag, specifically the pills. The captains told Stacy to put her purse in the car. So she did. Later, Stacy recalled that she was radioed to join her supervisors in a meeting. In this meeting, they informed her that they wished to search her bag. The search revealed a loose pill. According to Stacy, the captain took the pill to the major and returned with the message that the major was allegedly “not worried about the pill.”
A week after the incident, Stacy found out that there would be a hearing. When she contacted her union for representation, they told her that she was to be terminated. Three days later, Allegheny County Jail terminated her for allegedly “introducing contraband to the jail.”
Stacy believes she was terminated because she requested and received approval for FMLA, and she used her FMLA leave. Her FMLA approved leave is the only thing that made her different than other employees. As a client of KM&A, Stacy is fighting for her rights under the law. KM&A stands up for employee rights and challenges employers who discriminate and retaliate against employees who exercise their legal rights.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:17-cv-01671 CB
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.