Employee Asks for FMLA Leave and Is Allegedly Told, “Girls Work With Broken Foots and They Just Put Them on Garbage Cans.”


Employee Files Lawsuit against Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC for Age and Disability Discrimination

Cheryl accepted the position of scheduling secretary at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in January 2003. At 62-years-old, Cheryl managed her Type II Diabetes and the corresponding poor vision caused by the diabetic retinopathy along with her detached retina. In Fall 2015, all scheduling secretaries were moved to a central scheduling office. When Cheryl arrived, she requested an office that was well-lit to accommodate her poor vision. Her request was denied. Cheryl asked again, offering to bring in a doctor’s note, but her managers refused and failed to start any interactive process to solve the problem brought on by Cheryl’s disability.

Near the end of December 2015, Cheryl injured her foot. The pain prompted her to ask for time off to visit the doctor. Cheryl explained that the doctor prescribed two months of recovery leave for the injury. According to Cheryl, the manager responded with, “we’ve had girls work with broken foots and they just put them on garbage cans.” Regardless of this statement, Cheryl started her FMLA-approved leave the following day.

When Cheryl returned to work two months later, she received a new quota of 90-100 calls a day. Cheryl knew that no other coworker had that high of a quota. Meanwhile, her phone was not tracking the calls. Cheryl notified the Human Resources department, and they made sure the phone was fixed but did nothing about the disparity of quotas. Naturally, Cheryl struggled to meet this new quota.

After asking for Cheryl’s age, the director allegedly suggested that Cheryl retire and collect Social Security disability benefits since she “should be able to” with her disabilities.Cheryl shared that in April, her managers and the department director called her into a meeting. After asking for Cheryl’s age, the director allegedly suggested that Cheryl retire and collect Social Security disability benefits since she “should be able to” with her disabilities. Embarrassed and offended, Cheryl complained to HR. A month after her complaint, Cheryl shared that she was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). When she completed the PIP, Cheryl recalled that she was commended for her error-free work.

Near the end of August, Cheryl used FMLA leave to visit a doctor. When she arrived at work after the appointment, she was terminated. Her manager allegedly told her that it was for a mistake made two weeks prior. Cheryl pressed for information on the mistake, but according to Cheryl, her manager said they did not have documentation. Cheryl suspects that she was terminated due to her age, use of FMLA leave, and her disability. As a client of KM&A, Cheryl is fighting for her rights under the law. KM&A challenges employers who discriminate or terminate employees due to their legally protected class.


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-01626-JFC

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 Sean Ruppert at (412) 626-5550  or at sr@lawkm.com.

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.