Jon Campisi Nov. 12, 2013, 6:20am


A former medical assistant who worked at a Chester County gynecologist’s office for nearly eight years is suing the business for wrongful termination.

Irene Najmola, of Kennett Square, Pa., filed a federal lawsuit on Nov. 8 in U.S. District Court against Women’s Healthcare Group of PA, which does business as Chester County OBGYN Division, over her Oct. 1, 2012, termination.

Najmola, who began working for the defendant on Oct. 4, 2004, was scheduled to return to work from a short-term disability leave that began on Aug. 1 of that year at the time of her termination, the lawsuit states.

During the period of her disability, the plaintiff offered to perform light duties for the doctor’s office, but the defendant refused her offer, the lawsuit states.

The complaint doesn’t specify the reason why the woman needed to take disability leave.

In September 2012, Najmola advised the defendant she was being released by her doctor to return to full-time employment.

Nevertheless, Najmola received a letter on Sept. 24 advising her that her employment would be terminated effective Oct. 1, 2012, the complaint states.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Media, Pa. attorney Leo A. Hackett, accuses the defendant of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Najmola was 62 years old at the time of her firing, the record shows.

The complaint says that during the latter part of Najmola’s employment with the defendant, older workers such as herself were discriminated against in various ways, one of which was that the younger workers were assigned to work with only one doctor while older workers were made to work for more than one doctor.

Women’s Healthcare also changed its policy of furloughing the last hired when reductions in force were necessary and older workers were laid off, the suit states.

The complaint even accuses the defendant of failing to discipline or terminate younger employees hired after the plaintiff when they violated rules or procedures of the business.

The lawsuit goes on to state that Najmola was entitled to 12 weeks’ leave and the right to return to work thereafter under the Family and Medical Leave Act, but that the defendant failed to advise the plaintiff of her rights under FMLA.

Najmola seeks employment reinstatement, along with back and front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

 

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-06519-MAM.

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