November 18, 2022

The Week in FFCRA Complaints

This is the second installment in our roundup of FFCRA complaints. As we noted in the first post, we will be keeping you up to date with all the cases and highlighting the ones that we think have special bearing on our practice, employment law in New York State, or are just particularly noteworthy. 

  • Wells v. Haynes Ambulance of Alabama, Inc. (M.D.A.L.) 6/15/20
  • Plaintiff, a flight paramedic with two minor children, sued his employer, an ambulance company, under FFCRA/EFMLEA (expanded FMLA) for not notifying him of his rights under the EFMLEA, failing to tell him that his EFMLEA request was denied and why, and retaliating against him by terminating him. The Plaintiff inquired about taking leave when Alabama announced school closures due to Covid-19 because he had no other childcare options for his two minor children. The complaint alleges that the Plaintiff was told he was terminated because of his inquiry about the mere possibility of taking leave “ruffled feathers at the top” of the company.
  • Brown v. Irvington Township (U.S. District Court of N.J.) 6/19/20
  • Plaintiff, a clerk-typist in the Tax Department, sued his employer, Irvington Township, under FFCRA and EPSLA for denying his request to take paid leave under EPSLA after he received a note from his doctor certifying that he was being treated for Covid-19 and should be excused from work. Irvington Township informed Brown that he was not eligible because the township has over 500 employees; however, FFCRA applies to public employers regardless of number of employees. Instead of approving his leave, the township began making unexplained and improper deductions from his pay.
  • Donohew v. America’s Insurance Associations, Inc. (M.D.F.L.) 6/23/20
  • Plaintiff sued her employer under FFCRA and EPSLA for denying her the paid leave created by these laws, and instead putting her on unpaid leave and suspending her when Plaintiff’s daughter’s school closed due to Covid-19. The company went so far as to suggest that Donohew drop her daughter off at the local YMCA for $95 per week, all while allowing other employees to work from home.

The other two cases this week were Bowden v. Brinly-Hardy Company, Inc. (W.D.K.Y.) 6/18/20 Lewis v. Discount Parking Fll, LLC (S.D.F.L.) 6/12/20. We have several additional cases on our radar and will provide updated information about them next week.

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Over the last decade, more and more companies have utilized automated tools to aid in hiring, training, retaining. Historically, when practices and technologies are adopted rapidly, the law takes time to catch up and this is no different, with 2023 looking to be a year where companies are going to come under more detailed regulatory and compliance regimes focused on AI.

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Elon Musk mocked a Twitter employee for his disability and lack of clarity regarding job status, highlighting issues disabled workers face in the workplace.

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