Former housekeeper says employer interfered with FMLA rights

By Jim Boyle | Nov 11, 2014

A former housekeeper at a senior care facility managed by the Catholic Health Care

Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia says that his termination was based on false pretenses in violation of his rights to time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for his son afflicted with cerebral palsy, according to a federal suit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Tyrone Chase, of Philadelphia, seeks equitable relief including reinstatement at the Immaculate Mary Home in Philadelphia, compensation for salary and benefits lost to Chase by his termination, punitive and compensatory damages based on the FMLA violations.

According to the complaint, Chase worked as a housekeeper for Immaculate Mary Home since 1998, earning a promotion to housekeeper supervisor in 2004. Despite his positive performance reviews, the claim says, Chase experienced frequent harassment from his direct manager in retaliation for the use of FMLA leave to care for his son.

The complaint says that Chase's manager would consistently question the plaintiff's need for time off and write him up for disciplinary action for missing days which were covered by FMLA. Chase says he also received write-ups for relatively minor infractions that would have been ignored by his manager if he had not taken time off.

Despite numerous complaints to human resources, the claim says, Chase continued to be allegedly harassed by his manager up until his termination in April 2014. According to the complaint, at the end of March Chase was suspended for missing a non-mandatory training session that had been scheduled on the same day he applied for FMLA leave. His subsequent firing days later was based on the suspension and other alleged performance deficiencies.

The claim argues that the timing of the suspension and firing so close to days that Chase took off for FMLA reasons suggest that the actions were in retaliation for the plaintiff;s use of protected leave and reporting of his manager's behavior.

As a result of his employer's actions, the complaint says, Chase has experienced not only a loss of income, but also self-esteem, while taking on growing feelings of psychological and emotional distress.

The plaintiff is represented by James Bell of Bell & Bell in Philadelphia.

The case ID is 2:14-cv-06377-EL.

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