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).