Many employees exhibit dedication to their employer with the hope of ultimately retiring to live a relatively comfortable lifestyle. In some cases, however, unfortunate circumstances arise, and workers are forced to take extended leave. In a recent case, a Houston woman claims that she involuntarily resigned due to persistent discrimination and harassment after requesting medical leave for treatment of a tumor.
According to the claimant, she first sought respite in compliance with the Family Medical Leave Act back in 2011. The company is alleged to have initially denied permission for the leave, which led to a deferral of her doctor visits as well as the procedure that would remove the tumor from her neck. The lawsuit also alleges that the defendant was unenthusiastic about the employee’s request to take time off to be with her dying mother in 2012.
While the employer did ultimately provide her with the requested time off to be with her mother, she also had to extend her leave. This was due to the fact that, at this point, the tumor on her neck required immediate removal. Additionally, the defendant is accused to have ordered the plaintiff to work while on leave, and listed her position of employment on the company website simultaneously.
After returning to an even more hostile work environment, the plaintiff felt compelled to tender a resignation letter. Within it, she referenced the discrimination, among other things, that she felt led to this decision. Obviously, the employer contests the allegations. The plaintiff has sought a jury trial, however, and, if it is determined that she was in fact subjected to the discrimination outlined above, the Houston-based company will likely be forced to pay damages, back pay and other forms of compensation.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, Lawsuit: GenOn discriminated against cancer-stricken employee, John Sauyan, Oct. 4, 2013