Former employee alleges Nomac Drilling terminated him for taking leave to care for wife

By Gene Johnson | Jan 29, 2016

HARRISBURG – A motorman at a drilling company in Morris is suing his former employer claiming that it let him go while he was on leave to care for his cancer-stricken wife.

Eli A. Schrock filed a lawsuit Dec. 23 against Nomac Drilling LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Court alleging violations the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

According to the complaint, Schrock was employed as a motorman/floorhand by the defendant between September 2009 and Nov. 2, 2015. Schrock alleges that he was subjected to racist remarks by co-workers who knew that his wife was a Mexican national, referring to Mexicans as "wetbacks" and "spics."

On May 5, his wife was diagnosed with cervical cancer and he requested FMLA leave on May 7 in order to care for her during cancer treatment, according to the suit. After caring for his wife for two months, he purportedly notified his employer that he was ready to return to work on July 16. After returning to work, the complaint states, he took intermittent days of FMLA leave approximately every other month in order to accompany his wife to her doctor’s visits and cancer treatment. He alleges he faced hostility from supervisors when he requested FMLA leave.

The complaint states that Schrock was laid off on Nov. 2, during a two-week period off, due to a force reduction. A termination letter followed, and Schrock alleges that he was replaced by another employee and was the only worker terminated from his drilling rig.

Schrock seeks reinstatement of his position, compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and full value of wages and benefits.  He is represented by attorney Samuel J. Cordes and Nicholas A. Krakoff of Samuel J. Cordes & Associates in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Court Case number 2:15-cv-01692

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