Annie Hunt Mar. 31, 2016, 5:17pm

PHILADELPHIA — A phlebotomist is suing Reading Health System, alleging she was discriminated against for her medical disability after 17 years with the company.

Brenda Kress filed a lawsuit on March 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Reading Health System, citing violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Kress has been employed by the defendant as a phlebotomist for 17 years and suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other disabilities that affects her ability to breathe, work, and perform manual tasks. In July 2015, the plaintiff claims, she requested and took an approximate three-month medical leave of absence for her health conditions.

On Sept. 21, 2015, while she was still on her leave, the plaintiff allegedly received a letter informing her that she would remain employed until Oct. 12, 2015, but she would have to reapply for available positions or would be “voluntarily separated from her employment.” The plaintiff applied for an additional three or four weeks of FMLA leave at that time, which was denied.

Upon her return from FMLA leave, the plaintiff avers that she was forced to take a part-time position and was subjected to animosity and hostility.

Kress seeks compensation for all lost pay and benefits, liquidated and/or punitive damages, costs, expenses, and a trial by jury. She is represented by Ari R. Karpf of Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti PC, in Bensalem, PA.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case number 5:16-cv-01379-EGS

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U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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