Many working parents in West Virginia know of the stress that comes with a sick child. In addition to concern over their child, they also experience stress over the need to miss work to provide care. While federal law allows employees to miss 12 weeks of work if they become sick or need to provide care for a sick family member, an employment termination lawsuit claims that one woman faced job complications for doing so.
The employee worked as a teacher for four years in the school system now named as a defendant in the case. She claims that she was forced to take sick leave in order to care for her sick daughter. Court papers indicate that she soon learned that her administrator was discussing private details about her leave with others.
In response, she claims she wrote a letter to officials in the district to express her concerns and accuses the school system of retaliating against her as a result. She reportedly saw an increase in classroom observations and received a formal reprimand regarding her use of sick leave. She was later terminated. Although her lawsuit was originally filed in 2014, it was recently moved to federal court. Officials with the school district deny any wrongdoing, claiming that she was terminated for reasons it describes as legitimate and nondiscriminatory.
Despite having the right to federally protected medical leave, many workers in West Virginia face unlawful employment termination for taking such leave. In many cases, their only option is to file a lawsuit in civil court. Not only can they receive compensation for damages -- such as lost wages -- if they successfully argue their case, but a favorable result can also ensure that other employees are not treated similarly in the future.
Source: tallahassee.com, "Teacher sues LCS claiming wrongful dismissal", Amanda Claire Curcio, May 18, 2016