Woman reportedly fired by PA company after requesting FMLA for son
Updated: May 18, 2020
For immediate release
PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia woman was allegedly terminated from her position at a Pennsylvania call center after she requested to take a block leave of absence in order to care for her asthmatic son.
According to a civil complaint filed in the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Aisha Wynne began working as a call center representative for Spectrum Health Services, Inc. in January 2012. Because she is a mother to a child with a serious medical condition, Ms. Wynne applied for and was granted intermittent leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Specifically, according to the filing, Ms. Wynne’s son was diagnosed with an extreme form of asthma which required that he be taken to regular medical appointments for the purpose of receiving injections. As a result of her FMLA approval, Ms. Wynne was allegedly able to take leave, as needed, in order to care for her son.
Ms. Wynne was offered a promotion to the position of call center supervisor in February 2019, according to the complaint. Prior to accepting the position, Ms. Wynne alleged that she asked if her new job would impact her FMLA. In a discussion with a human resources representative, Ms. Wynne was asked how long she planned to take intermittent leave, and the representative suggested that her need to take leave would impact her ability to accept the promotion, according to the complaint. At one point in the conversation, the representative suggested that Ms. Wynne find someone else to take her son to his medical appointments, she alleged.
According to the complaint, in April 2019, Ms. Wynne requested a block leave of absence to tend to her son’s increased medical issues. Upon her request, a second human resources representative asked Ms. Wynne if she could guarantee that her son would be better upon her return to work, according to the filing. Due to the nature of his illness, Ms. Wynne could not promise that her son’s health would completely improve by the time she returned. According to the complaint, her position was terminated the next day. Officials at Spectrum Health System cited her request to take a block leave as the reason for her dismissal, according to the complaint.
Lead Attorney Christa Levko asserted in the filing that Spectrum Health Services discriminated against Ms. Wynne in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with relation to her son’s disability. According to the charge, the ADA “makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an employee because of their association or relationship with an individual who has a known disability.”
Additionally, Spectrum Health Services is accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act by interfering with Ms. Wynne’s ability to use leave through the program and by retaliating against her for asserting her right under the law, according to the filing.
Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Ms. Wynne filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue.
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 Ms. Wynne against Spectrum Health Services, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.