Massachusetts workers who use intermittent medical leave in accordance with the law may not expect that they could lose their jobs. A woman who worked for a casino in another state alleges that she was fired twice after suffering injuries at work. Since then, she has filed a wrongful termination claim to try to right the wrongs against her.
The woman worked as a cashier for the casino for a little less than 11 years. After falling on ice in the parking lot, the woman alleges she irritated a back injury that she suffered on the job previously. After her back surgery, she was placed on medical leave for a little over two weeks. Then, she was apparently placed on intermittent medical leave due to occasional flare ups.
The plaintiff was fired after being accused of using her medical leave time to go on a vacation. She proved that those accusations were false and was returned to her former position a few days later and reimbursed for her lost wages. Sometime later, the plaintiff had to leave work due to sinus congestion that caused swelling in her throat. She was later told by the doctor that there was dust and mold in her sinuses and that she should remain off work for a few days to allow the medication she was given to work. In the event that she should have the same symptoms, the doctor also gave her an EpiPen to use at work.
A week later, she returned to work but was told that she was fired. Her lawsuit, which is pending in West Virginia, alleges that her former employer engaged in a wrongful termination and also violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act by discriminating against her due to her disability. Massachusetts workers who believe they were terminated — or otherwise discriminated against — due to an illness or injury suffered on the job may elect to file a claim against their employers. If a civil court rules in favor of the employees, a judgment could include monetary damages for lost wages and other relief, as well as reinstatement to a prior position when appropriate.
Source: wvrecord.com, “Woman sues Mardi Gras Casino & Resort for discrimination“, Kyla Asbury, July 13, 2015