Man sues employer in FMLA dispute

By Kelly Holleran | May 9, 2011

A Philadelphia man claims he lost his job after taking off an unspecified number of days under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Dempsey Ellison filed a lawsuit May 3 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Oaks 422, Langhorne Route, New Venture Holdings and Haynes Furniture Company.

In his complaint, Ellison claims he worked for the defendants for seven years before he was transferred to the Oaks location in Pennsylvania. Following his transfer, Ellison had to take an unspecified number of days off for an unspecified reason, according to the complaint.

Ellison claims he should have been allowed to take the time off because of provisions in the Family Medical and Leave Act. However, the defendants terminated him shortly after he returned from his leave of absence, the suit states.

“Defendants committed interference and retaliation violations of the FMLA by terminating Plaintiff: (1) to prevent him from further exercising his rights under the FMLA; (2) because he exercised his rights under the FMLA; and (3) by considering his FMLA-qualifying absences in a decision to terminate Plaintiff,” the complaint says.

In his suit, Ellison seeks a court order prohibiting the defendants from continuing to maintain their illegal practices. He also seeks lost earnings, salary, pay increases, bonuses, benefits, pension and seniority he would have received had he not been terminated. In addition, he seeks liquidated damages, other relief the court deems just, costs, a verdict to maximize the financial recovery available to him and a jury trial.

Ari R. Karpf of Karpf and Karpf in Bensalem will be representing Ellison.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:11-cv-2943.

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