The Family and Medical leave act is in place to help Texas workers retain their jobs if they face an emergency and need time away from work. This federal law includes up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, which can be used for several reasons, one of which being if an employee needs surgery. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against an employee for taking advantage of an approved leave under this law. An employee who suffers a wrongful discharge or otherwise faces retaliation may choose to file a claim against his or her employer for FMLA violations.
The former sheriff's deputy of Childress County claims that she lost her job after announcing that she would need to take a leave. The plaintiff received an approval to take her leave under the FMLA so that she could have surgery performed. She told the sheriff that she would need to be off for five weeks, but then would be able to return to work.
Once she came back to work, the plaintiff claims that the sheriff fired her. He allegedly told her that she was not needed any longer. She was apparently never given any other explanation surrounding her termination.
The Texas woman is suing the Childress County Sheriff's Office for a wrongful discharge. She believes that the reason she was fired was because she enacted her legal right to take an approved leave under the FMLA. An employee who takes advantage of his or her approved leave under the FMLA and is met with retaliation can choose to pursue legal recourse.
Source: newschannel10.com, "Lawsuit alleges Childress Co. Sheriff fired deputy after medical leave", Madison Alewel, Dec. 10, 2015