Kentucky FMLA Discrimination and Disability Discrimination (American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Case
In September of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky heard a case involving a Kentucky woman who claims that the defendant discriminated against her and violated her FMLA rights and the ADA. (See Curry v. Brown, 2013 WL 4809279 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). Plaintiff began her career with the Boone County Clerk’s Office in 1999. Id. Throughout the years she was promoted and in 2004 was a supervisor in the motor vehicle department. Id. In 2010 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Id. She was approved for
FMLA leave but did not take any because her co-workers donated their sick days to her. Id.
In 2010 Defendant Boone was elected Boone County Clerk. After taking office in 2011, he met with all of the staff. He heard complaints about plaintiff. He put plaintiff on a three day administrative leave pending his review of the situation. A month later he told plaintiff that he was demoting her and moving her to another office. Id. But, then defendant found out that plaintiff had voted in the wrong county elections and possibly broke the law and so a few days later plaintiff was terminated. Id. Plaintiff was later indicted for wrongful registration and she pled guilty to it on March 30, 2011. Id. On August 7, 2011, plaintiff filed a charge with the EEOC alleging Title VII violations and ADA violations.
A FMLA interference claim is proven when the plaintiff shows 1) she was an eligible employee, 2) a defendant was an employer under the FMLA, 3) plaintiff was entitled to FMLA leave, 4) plaintiff gave sufficient notice of the leave and 5) defendants denied plaintiff FMLA benefits. (cites omitted). In the case at hand, plaintiff was never denied FMLA leave. So, the court then looked at plaintiff’s retaliation claim.
“To maintain an FMLA retaliation claim plaintiff must prove: 1) she was engaged in an activity protected by the FMLA, 2) defendants knew that she was exercising her rights under the FMLA, 3) after learning of the employee’s exercise of FMLA rights, defendants took an employment action adverse to plaintiff, and 4) there was a causal connection between the protected FMLA activity and the adverse employment action.” (cites omitted).
Defendant argues that it had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for firing plaintiff. There had been numerous complaints about plaintiff and that is why she was demoted. Plaintiff argues that the investigation was insufficient into the complaints. Id. Defendant never asked his predecessor about the complaints. But, this court stated that the Sixth Circuit does “not require that the decisional process used by the employer be optimal or that it left no stone unturned.” (cites omitted). An employer’s belief is not pretextual if it had an honest belief in the proffered non-discriminatory reason. Id. An employer’s belief is honest when it reasonably relies on” the particularized facts that were before it at the time the decision was made. (cites omitted). Based on the facts of the case, the defendant had offered enough evidence that it had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for demoting plaintiff.
This is the reason the court held that plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim also fails. Plaintiff could not establish that defendants’ legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for her demotion and termination were pretextual. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky FMLA Discrimination and Disability Discrimination (American with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawyer case, please call and speak to a Kentucky FMLA Discrimination and Disability Discrimination (American with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!