Employees are protected by federal law from discrimination and retaliation for asserting their protected rights. The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, provides such a right, allowing employees to take a certain amount of unpaid leave from work, while requiring their employer to hold their job, or an equivalent position, until they return. If an employer fails to provide an employee with this leave or punishes them for using the protected leave, they may be in violation of law.
Veteran sports columnist T.J. Simers has filed a shocker of a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Times. The 63-year-old writer had been writing three columns a week for the Times after working at the paper for more than two decades. Now, after what sound like serious breaches of journalistic ethics and a campaign of illegal retaliation, he is suing the paper for disability and age discrimination that, he claims, unfairly ended his career.
In Oct. 2011, the chief financial officer of one of the world's largest law firms filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired in retaliation for taking a three-month medical leave when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. According to reporters, the firm, Proskauer Rose LLP, is an international corporate law firm based in New York that reported a gross income of $763.5 million last year.
A federal judge has ordered DS Waters of America Inc., operating as Sparkletts, a bottled water company familiar to most Californians, to reinstate one if its delivery drivers and compensate him for back pay and undue medical expenses after it failed to reinstate him after he took approved leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The unusual aspect of this case is that the company he worked for when he took the leave was bought by another company by the time he was ready to return. Nevertheless, the Department of Labor says the failure to reinstate the man constitutes wrongful termination under federal law.
An interesting lawsuit by a former associate attorney against a Boston law firm was just settled immediately before the dispute went to trial. The former associate, who was fired in Dec. 2008, sued the law firm claiming that his firing was in retaliation for taking family leave the firm leadership didn't think was "macho" enough.