Former worker sues youth and family agency for wrongful termination

Jon Campisi Nov. 15, 2011, 8:26am

A Bucks County, Pa. man who worked for a local youth and family services organization for five years before his dismissal this summer has filed a federal complaint against his former employer, alleging his termination violated the federal Family Medical Leave Act.

Bristol resident David Wilson is suing Lower Gwynedd, Pa.-based Delta Community Supports Inc., and the plaintiff’s then-supervisor, Zeridian Nlu, over what he alleges was a wrongful termination this summer after five years with the agency.

Through his lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 14 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by attorney Thomas More Holland, Wilson, who was hired by Delta in 2006 as a full-time direct services employee, claims that he was fired in June via company letter.

Wilson had been injured in a May 23 car accident, and subsequently informed his supervisors he would be unable to work immediately following the accident.

Defendant Zeridian asked Wilson to fax any related medical paperwork as soon as he was able to do so, the suit states. On May 27, Wilson’s doctors faxed a note to the defendants letting them know that Wilson had been in the hospital in the days following his vehicle accident, and that he wouldn’t be cleared to return to work until June 6.

On June 10, the suit states, a second doctor’s note was faxed to Wilson’s employer, informing company officials that Wilson would be unable to work from June 6 to 18.

And then, on June 20, a third doctor’s note, dated June 17, was sent to Delta extending Wilson’s medical leave until June 22, with the recommendation that Wilson be put on light duty upon his eventual return, the lawsuit states.

Before Wilson could return to work on June 22, however, he received a letter from Delta dated June 16, which stated that Wilson was “no call, no show” on June 9, and that he had not been in contact with his supervisor, the lawsuit states. The letter informed Wilson that he would be terminated effectively immediately.

The lawsuit states that no such “no call, no show” policy exists in the company’s handbook.

“Plaintiff’s notice reasonably apprised Defendant Delta of his request to take time off for a serious health condition,” the complaint states. “Defendants Delta and Zeridian breached their duty to investigate whether the leave requested by the Plaintiff was FMLA qualifying.”

The lawsuit contains counts of interference, discrimination, mixed motive and retaliation.

Wilson seeks reinstatement of employment, unspecified compensatory and liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.

A jury trial has been demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-07073-PBT.

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