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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Man accuses PA company of violating FMLA

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania man has accused Accuride Corporation of terminating his position after he accrued several sick days, despite his right to FMLA-qualified leave.

According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff James McCullum began working in the Logistics Department of Accuride Corporation in January 2011. His job duties including loading and off-loading trucks using fork lifts and other forms of heavy machinery, according to the complaint. Mr. McCullum alleged that, after about three years of employment, he began to experience chronic headaches and dizziness. At one point, according to the filing, he lost consciousness while operating a forklift and required medical attention. Soon after, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and was granted intermittent leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, according to the complaint.

As a result, according to the filing, Mr. McCullum was able to start work late if symptoms arose, or take the day off if his symptoms made it impossible for him to attend his shift.

Mr. McCullum alleged that, on the morning of April 15, 2019, he began getting ready for work and started to experience severe symptoms of his high blood pressure. According to the filing, due to the intensity of the symptoms, he decided that it was unsafe to drive to work, let alone to operate heavy machinery during his shift. Mr. McCullum contacted his immediate supervisor and expressed a need to take leave through FMLA, according to the filing. Mr. McCullum alleged that he was told that it was too late to call off, and that he had to attend his shift as scheduled.

According to the complaint, he contacted his union steward and the Human Resources Department. Mr. McCullum alleged that he was told to go to the emergency room for treatment and to return with a doctor’s excuse. He did as he was instructed and immediately turned in the doctor’s excuse in to the on-staff nurse upon his return to work, according to the complaint.

However, despite his doctor’s note and active FMLA status, Mr. McCullum alleged that he was terminated for missing work on the days that he was ill. Management from Accuride Corporation informed him that he had accumulated too many missed days, despite his excused absence under FMLA, according to the complaint.

Lead Attorney Sean Ruppert alleged in the filing that Mr. McCullum adequately invoked his right to FMLA-qualifying leave and, as a result, was wrongfully terminated from his position. The complaint charges that Accuride Corporation engaged in retaliation against Mr. McCullum in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Mr. McCullum filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ruppert on January 15, 2020.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Mr. McCullum against Accuride Corporation, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.


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