Job discrimination lawsuit filed against aircraft service firm at Philadelphia International Airport

By Jon Campisi | Sep 2, 2011

A man who became injured during his job with an aircraft service firm at Philadelphia International Airport is suing his former employer, alleging his termination was related to his needing to take medical leave for an injury he sustained while working.

Jean Bijou, a Morton, Pa. resident formerly employed by Philadelphia-based Aircraft Service International Inc., filed the federal lawsuit against the company Aug. 29 with the help of Bensalem, Pa. attorney Ari Karpf.

The civil action was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

According to the complaint, Bijou, who worked for the defendant for seven years before his July 27 firing, had to take medical leave after he fractured his ankle at work in May of this year.

The injury required Bijou to take one to two months off of work, since he couldn’t get around without the use of crutches, the suit states.

He soon began undergoing physical therapy sessions and returned to work in July of this year.

Even though he returned to his job, Bijou was still required to undergo occasional physical therapy sessions due to continued pain.

On July 22, Bijou was told by management that he would be required to stay late and work overtime, even though he had a pre-scheduled rehabilitative session, the lawsuit claims.

“Plaintiff was not given sufficient advanced notice that he would be required to stay late, it was outside of his normally scheduled work assignment, and Plaintiff was still being treated for his medical condition,” the lawsuit states.

Bijou left at his regularly scheduled time that day despite orders to stay and work late. Five days later, he received notice that he had been terminated.

The reason given for the termination, the suit claims, is that Bijou refused to stay late and work overtime when instructed by his superiors.

The lawsuit claims that the defendant violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, alleging the company retaliated against Bijou by terminating him for taking FMLA-qualifying absences and by not honoring his need for “intermittent medical leave due to his serious health condition.”

Through his lawsuit, Bijou seeks to have his former employer from continuing its alleged discriminatory and retaliatory practices, he aims to be compensated for lost wages and future earnings, and he looks to be reimbursed for legal costs and related fees.

The plaintiff has demanded a jury trial.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05408-TJS.

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