Employee Uses FMLA Leave And Is Allegedly Fired For “Violating Policy.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit against Fisher Scientific for Disability Discrimination
Originally hired as a temporary worker, Rolanda accepted a full time position in the sales department at Fisher Scientific in 2013. In the beginning of 2015, Rolanda started to suffer from an unknown and debilitating disease. As the symptoms worsened, Rolanda applied for FMLA and was approved in November 2015.
Halfway through November, Rolanda explained how her manager and an HR representative called her into a meeting where they told her she was no longer allowed to use PTO whenever she wanted. Meanwhile, she knew that other employees were permitted plenty of flexibility for their use of PTO. Her manager also confronted Rolanda about her tardiness to work, which was due to her disability. At this time, both the manager and the HR representative knew that Rolanda had received permission for FMLA. Rolanda was most struck by the fact that her position doesn’t have an official start time, and yet she was accused of being tardy.
For the following months, Rolanda recalls how she was regularly called into meetings with the HR representative to change the method of tracking her FMLA leave. The frequency of the meetings coupled with changes in the FMLA instructions caused Rolanda to feel harassed for her disability, so she requested permission to record a meeting. When the HR representative denied the request, Rolanda asked for permission to leave. The HR representative allegedly threatened that if Rolanda left the meeting she’d be written up for unexcused absence.
At this point, things worsened. Rolanda received write ups for all her absences before she received FMLA-approved leave—over a year after the fact. And then, Rolanda shared how her boss accused her of using company resources for her future, start-up candle business. Although it’s common practice for sales representatives to send sample items to possible clients, Rolanda was investigated despite the fact that she’d received appropriate approval for her samples.
Several days after the investigation began, Rolanda was terminated for “violating policy.” When Rolanda asked for the specific policy, her question was evaded. Rolanda knows that Fisher Scientific has fired three other disabled employees for vague reasons within the same year. She believes that Fisher Scientific terminated her because of her disability and use of FMLA. Rolanda, as a client of KM&A, is fighting for her legal rights. KM&A champions the rights of employees who suffer discrimination due to their disability.
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-01421-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.