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Addiction recovery business Gaudenzia sued by former employee for alleged FMLA violations

By Jon Campisi | Apr 23, 2014

A Philadelphia man is suing a Montgomery County addiction and recovery

services business over alleged Family and Medical Leave Act violations.

Michael A. Bowman, an attorney for Donald Jackson, filed suit on behalf of his client April 22 at the U.S. District Court against Norristown-Pa. based Gaudenzia Inc., a business catering toward recovering alcohol and drug addicts.

Jackson, who worked for the defendant as a drug and alcohol peer specialist for about two years, voluntarily resigned on Aug. 28, 2013, reportedly under the threat of termination.

The plaintiff says he missed periodic days of work from mid-2012 until mid-2013 due to severe asthma attacks and because of issues related to his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He also suffers from high blood pressure and arthritis, the lawsuit states.

The complaint states that when Jackson first filed for short-term disability, it was denied, although it was ultimately approved in the spring of 2013.

The company, which has a neutral attendance policy, ended up counting Jackson’s absences prior to the granting of short-term disability, the complaint states.

Jackson claims he was then harassed by the human resources department, whose representatives asked when he would be returning to work and also stressing that the plaintiff’s leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act had run out.

Jackson says he was then told that if there were any more absenteeism he would be fired from his position.

It was in late August of last year that Jackson’s health benefits were canceled, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff used all of his allotted sick and vacation time, mostly due to his health issues, and then resigned.

The suit accuses the defendant of interference and retaliation under the FMLA.

The plaintiff seeks to have the defendant prohibited from continuing to maintain its allegedly illegal policy of discriminating against employees on the basis of the their use of the FMLA.

He also seeks back pay, front pay, benefits, liquidated damages, litigation costs and legal fees.


The federal case number is 2:14-cv-02310-PD.

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