Salvation Army allegedly violated Family Medical Leave Act

By Gene Johnson | Nov 4, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — A former administration assistant is suing Salvation Army in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over allegations she was fired for taking medical leave that should have been protected under the Family Medical Leave Act. 

Lisa Knoll filed a lawsuit against the Salvation Army on Sept. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act. 

While working as an administrative assistant in the Salvation Army’s Women’s Ministries, Knoll submitted an application for leave to seek treatment for her medical conditions, and provide care for her mother and father. Her leave was scheduled to end on May 8. 

 On March 9, Knoll alleges she received an email stating that her job protection under the medical leave would be exhausted on May 8. She then contacted the company’s Human Resources administrator about returning to work earlier than May 8. She was told and complied with instructions to re-submit the paperwork for her medical leave – even though she had submitted the paperwork on Feb. 17. 

On May 7, Knoll alleges she called the Salvation Army to confirm that she was ready to return to work. She alleges that Human Resources told her that the Salvation Army was “not ready” and told her to not return to work until May 11. In the lawsuit, Knoll said a supervisor called her on May 8 to further postpone her return until May 12. On May 8, Knoll alleges she received a letter in the mail informing her that her employment status had been changed from “active” to “non-active.” 

Believing the letter was sent in error, Knoll returned to work as planned on May 12, at which time she was fired allegedly in retaliation for taking the leave of absence.

In addition to preventing Salvation Army from violating the Family Medical Leave Act in the future, Knoll is seeking reimbursement for any lost pay and benefits, damages, and costs for the lawsuit. She is being represented by Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based attorney Richard Swartz of Swartz Swidler, LLC.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case no.. 2:15-cv-04812-JHS

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