In April of 2013, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky heard a case involving Kentucky FMLA retaliation in Kentucky. (See Curry v. Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Inc., 2013 WL 1411132 (W.D. Ky. 2013)). The defendant in this Kentucky FMLA retaliation case filed its motion for summary judgment. As is the rule, the Court must look at the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Id. Thought the non-moving party must present specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. In this case, the plaintiff was hired as a Manager for the defendant in 2008. She was a salaried employee.
Over a year later, plaintiff informed her supervisor that she need a hysterectomy. She told them this on July 22, 2009. On or about July 28, 2009, plaintiff alleges she was told by her manager that he was dissatisfied with the fact that she had to take time off. On July 31, 2009 plaintiff told the defendant that she needed FMLA leave. Id. Plaintiff testified that on August 12, 2009, she attempted to return the FMLA forms but was told to hold on to them. Finally, she faxed them in on August 17, 2009. On August 17, 2009, plaintiff was terminated for failing to follow Personnel Policy. Defendant claims in this Kentucky FMLA retaliation case that the defendant was terminated for falsifying her time records. Id. Thus, defendant argued that plaintiff was fired so they did not have to offer her FMLA leave.
Plaintiff hired a Kentucky FMLA retaliation lawyer and filed suit on June 17, 2011. The defendant then filed its motion for summary judgment.
The FMLA allows up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave each year “to care for a spouse, child , or parent with a ‘serious health condition’ or if the employee has a ‘serious health condition’ that renders the employee unable to perform the functions of his job.” (cites omitted).
There are two distinct theories for recovery under the FMLA. The entitlement or interference theory and the retaliation or discrimination theory. The interference or entitlement theory is pvoe3d when the employee shows that 1) she was an eligible employee, 2) the defendant was an employer as defined under the FMLA, 3) she was entitled to leave under the FMLA , 4) she gave the employer notice of her intention to take leave, and 5) the employer denied the employee FMLA benefits to which she was entitled. Id. The court after looking at all the facts held that the plaintiff at this point did satisfy her requirements in proving entitlement or interference theories.
As to the retaliation firing under FMLA, the court held that plaintiff also satisfied her requirements in this area as well. She proved as is required that 1) she engaged in an activity protected by the FMLA, 2) that this exercise of her protected rights was known to the defendant, 3) that defendant thereafter took an employment action adverse to the plaintiff, and 4) that there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. Id.
Accordingly in this Kentucky FMLA retaliation case the defendant’s motion for summary judgment was denied.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky FMLA retaliation matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky FMLA retaliation lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!