Employee with Disability Forcibly Placed on FMLA Leave due to Prescribed Medication.


Employee Files Lawsuit against Lowe’s Companies, Inc. for Disability Discrimination

Frank started working at Lowe’s as a department manager in March 2009. In 2002, he was promoted to a sales specialist. While working in 2012, Frank suffered an injury to his back that required surgery, and the surgery resulted in the long-term condition of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, which means pain in his back, legs, and feet. Lowe’s originally accommodated Frank by allowing him to work 6-hour shifts while still remaining full time.

Then, in January 2017, he was required to attend a conference call with three human resources representatives. During the call, the HR reps told Frank that to remain full time that he would need to work 5-hour shifts for 6 days then make up the remaining time on Sunday, meaning a 10-hour shift. Moreover, he would no longer have vacation time.

Frank visited his doctor immediately to determine how this change would alter his health. The doctor explained that this type of schedule would only worsen Frank’s already worsening pain. During the appointment, the doctor prescribed morphine and told Frank he could work 6-hour sedentary shifts. Frank took these updated doctor instructions to his employer.

At the beginning of February, he attended another meeting with HR. According to Frank, one of the HR reps said, “I hear you’re taking drugs.” Frank responded that morphine was prescribed to him and he’d had no bad side effects for the last two weeks of daily dosage. One of the reps reprimanded him, demanded a detailed list of his medications as well as their side effects, and wanted him to sign a release of liability.

Frank refused to sign the release without reviewing it, but the reps wouldn’t allow him to take the paper. He shared that they sent him out of the office for 15 minutes, and when they called him back in, they still expected him to sign. When he wouldn’t sign, they sent him home, saying that he couldn’t work while on medication. As Frank was leaving, he was told to apply for FMLA leave and soon after, he received a letter stating that if he didn’t file for FMLA leave that he would be terminated.

Frank was unwillingly placed on FMLA leave when he was able and willing to work for Lowe’s. He suspects that he’s suffered discrimination due to his disability. As a client of KM&A, Frank seeks his employment rights. KM&A represents women and men like Frank who have dealt with disability discrimination in the workplace.

Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:18-cv-00978-DSC

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 Blaire Patrick at (412) 626-5595 or at bp@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.