A former nursing assistant employed by Montgomery County who claims she was terminated last spring in retaliation for using federally approved family and medical leave has filed a lawsuit against the county government.
Amy Medley, who resides in Pottstown, Pa., claims in her federal complaint that her termination in late April 2011 violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
The lawsuit, which was filed April 16 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Downingtown, Pa. attorney Edward C. Sweeney, alleges that she was fired the day after she informed a county human resources representative that she was planning to file a grievance against her employer in response to her being written up for her intermittent absences.
Medley has a son who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, developmental delay and anxiety disorder, all considered serious health conditions under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the complaint.
The suit states that Medley requested intermittent leave under the FMLA, which she was specifically told she qualified for, in order to deal with her son’s health issues.
Medley was told she would be eligible for “family care” leave of absence after continuous employment of three months.
Nevertheless, the suit claims, she was fired on April 20, 2011 for exercising her FMLA leave three days prior.
The complaint alleges that the county violated the FMLA by interfering with Medley’s leave by giving her incorrect information about her leave eligibility under the FMLA and the county’s own absence policy.
“Defendant without good faith and without reasonable grounds for believing that it did not violate the FMLA took adverse actions against Plaintiff, including termination, retaliating against her by giving her ‘points’ for absence, and retaliating against her when it found out she might file a formal leave-related grievance,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit contains counts of discrimination and interference with employee’s ability to meaningfully exercise her right to leave.
As a result of her termination, Medley has suffered lost wages, benefits and other privileges of employment, pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, inconvenience, loss of life’s pleasures and other non-pecuniary losses.
The lawsuit further alleges that Medley would have modified her conduct and dealt with her son’s condition in ways other than taking leave had she known that her employer “would count as adverse incidents her intermittent taking of leave, and thus, detrimentally relied on employer’s representations.”
Medley seeks lost wages and benefits, liquidated damages, unspecified compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and other equitable relief.
A jury trial has been demanded.
The federal case number is 2:12-cv-01995-JP.