In February of 2013 the United States Court of Appeals heard a case involving an FMLA violation and wrongful termination. (See Miller v. Schrand, 2013 WL 558721 (6th Cir. 2013)). In this Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination lawsuit, the plaintiff sued the Superintendent in his individual capacity. The state court allowed this aspect of the lawsuit to continue. The Superintendent appealed the ruling and this appellate court reversed the lower court’s ruling holding that the Superintendent was entitled to qualified immunity.
The Plaintiff in this Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination lawsuit was a classified employee for over nine years on a year to year contract. Prior to her getting terminated she was a payroll clerk on a 240 day contract. In 2007 Plaintiff took about 50 days of FMLA leave. Plaintiff alleges that when she returned she was subject to ridicule and abusive behavior. The defendant Superintendent became Superintendent about 2 months after the Plaintiff returned from her FMLA leave. Up to this point, Plaintiff had not contacted a Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination lawyer.
In 2008 Plaintiff there was an incident between the plaintiff and defendant Superintendent about plaintiff’s sick bank data. This was eventually resolved. During that same time period, the school had to go through some budget cuts. One of the cuts was reducing the plaintiff’s position from 240 work days to 190 work days. Plaintiff received a letter indicating such. Then there was a job positing announcing a job similar to plaintiff’s job with a contract term of 230 days.
This is when plaintiff filed her Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination lawsuit against the Superintendent and members of the school board. There were motions filed by both sides. The lower court dismiss the claims against the Superintendent except for the claims of negligence, breach of employment contract and violation of due process in his individual capacity.
“Public officers and employees enjoy qualified official immunity when they negligently perform 1, discretionary acts of functions, i.e. those involving the exercise of discretion and judgment, or personal deliberation, decision, and judgment, 2, in good faith, and 3 within the scope of the employee’s authority.” (cites omitted). Therefore, “qualified immunity protects all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.” (cites omitted). In this Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination case, the decision to terminate an employee is a discretionary act. Id. The issue at hand had to due with plaintiff’s hours being reduced. Since the Superintendent is authorized to made reductions in force, such acts are discretionary and within his authority. Therefore, he is protected in doing so. Unless, the Plaintiff can prove that such discretionary act was not performed in good faith. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination case, please call and speak to a Kentucky FMLA and wrongful termination lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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