Worker alleges termination during medical leave

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Jun. 27, 2015, 1:24pm


PHILADELPHIA - A Pottstown woman is suing a global biotechnology company, alleging violation of employment law after she said she was terminated for taking time off to recover from surgery.

Christine Horter filed a lawsuit June 19 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Rockland Immunochemical Inc., alleging wrongful termination.

According to the complaint, Horter, who began working for the defendant in late April 1999, suffered from severe osteoarthritis of the right knee, which is considered a serious health condition under the Family Medical Leave Act, and needed to undergo knee replacement surgery in February.

The suit states that eight weeks (out of an allocated 12) into her scheduled medical leave under FMLA she was called into the office and told she was terminated due to the elimination of her job as the result of the company restructuring. Horter contends the real reason she was terminated was due to her taking FMLA leave.

Horter bases this allegation on the fact that after she was terminated, she searched a job website and discovered that Rockland Immunochemical was seeking to hire an individual with the same duties that she performed and the same job description of the position that she held.

Horter seeks reinstatement, lost pay, benefits and bonuses, liquidated damages, attorney fees and lawsuit costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorneys Richard B. Bateman Jr. of Media, and Samuel A. Dion of Dion and Goldberger in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-03438-TON.

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