November 18, 2022

The Week in FFCRA Complaints: Yet More Wrongful Terminations and Retaliation

As we noted last week, employers seem not to have gotten the message on paid leave under FFCRA and the two notable cases that came up this week both involve employer retaliation and wrongful termination against employees who were protected under FFCRA. One was denied FFCRA-mandated time off to care for his four children, one of whom had special needs. The other was denied compensation and subsequently terminated after showing symptoms of and subsequently testing positive for Covid-19.

  • Complaint, Pacitti v. Ricciardi Bros. Old City, Inc., No. 2:20-cv-03734 (E.D. Pa. July 31, 2020)
  • Plaintiff, a driver, sued his employer for retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of FFCRA. Plaintiff requested protected paid leave under FFCRA to care for his four children whose schools were closed as a result of COVID-19. His employer informed him that he could take accrued paid time off or use 10 days of emergency paid sick leave after exhausting his FFCRA leave. When Plaintiff was ready to return to work, his employer notified him that he had been replaced and offered him a different position that required a substantially longer commute from Plaintiff’s residence. Because Plaintiff needed to be close to his special needs son, he had to decline the new offer. However, Plaintiff believed his original job was protected while he was taking paid time off.
  • Complaint, Romero v. Accurate Painting of Northwest Florida Inc., No. 3:20-cv-05703-MCR-EMT (N.D. Fla. Aug. 3, 2020)
  • Plaintiff, a painter, sued her employer, a construction contractor, for retaliation in violation of FFCRA. Plaintiff and her crew were ordered to take a COVID-19 test. Plaintiff started feeling sick before taking the test and did not return to work. She received a positive COVID-19 test and was advised to quarantine. When she inquired about her weekly payment while in isolation, she was informed that she would not be paid because she was already fired.

Additional filing: Complaint, Wright v. Denali Ingredients, LLC, No. 2:20cv1185 (E.D. Wis. Aug. 3, 2020).

Berke-Weiss Law Attorneys Speak at Endometriosis Foundation Conference

March 27, 2023
Disability Discrimination
Berke-Weiss Law in the News
Berke-Weiss Law attorneys, Laurie Berke-Weiss, Alex Berke, and Rosa Aliberti, spoke at the EndoFound Global Patient Symposium, commonly referred to as Patient Day, about the legal rights and protections for those with endometriosis.

AI and Compliance, Employers Brace for a Brave New World

March 16, 2023
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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.

Elon Musk’s Public Mocking of Employee’s Disability Highlights the Importance of Reasonable Accommodations and Health Information Privacy

March 16, 2023
Disability Discrimination
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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