I am a mother to a 4 year old with Down Syndrome dealing with discrimination at my job. In 2013 after a friendly manager warned that upper management was complaining about my time out of the office, I requested FMLA. I have worked at my company for over 1

I have worked for my company for over 18 years with no issues or bad review. Now I have a child born with a lifetime disability and I qualify for intermittent FMLA and now they are saying I am not doing my job. I have received a bad review and placed on PIP (Performance Improvement Plan ) for 90 days. I feel that their plan is to fire me at the end of the 90 days, because I have a young child with a lifetime disability. They are doing everything they can to make unpleasant to work here. I need advice!

3 answers  |  asked Jul 27, 2016 11:20 AM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (3)

George Barron
Based upon your narrative, it appears that you may have a claim against your employer. You should talk to an employment lawyer.

I believe that Attorney Ezold misspoke in his answer. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) DO NOT have jurisdiction over FMLA claims. An EEOC or PHRC filing WILL NOT protect your FMLA rights.

FMLA suits are brought directly in federal court. You have 2 or 3 years (depending upon whether the violation was "willful") from the violation to bring suit under the FMLA.

It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee because of that employee's use of, or request for, FMLA leave.

In addition, it is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of that employee's association with a disabled individual, such as a child.

A PHRA claim must be brought before the PHRC within 180 days of the violation. An ADA claim must be brought before the EEOC within 300 days of the violation. The PHRC and EEOC have a work-sharing agreement under which you can file with one of the agencies and request that the action be jointly filed with both. These claims can later be brought in court, but must be properly filed with PHRC/EEOC first.

George Barron, Esq.
(570) 824-3088

posted by George Barron  |  Jul 27, 2016 12:00 PM [EST]
Doris Dabrowski
Employers must notify employees who request leave of eligibility for leave within 5 business days. The FMLA prohibits retaliation and interference with rights under the FMLA. I suggest that you consult a lawyer ASAP to review the detailed facts of your situation.

Answers to posted questions can only provide general educational information about the law. An attorney must review the comprehensive facts before rendering an opinion about the application of the law to your situation.

posted by Doris Dabrowski  |  Jul 27, 2016 11:45 AM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Federal law applies, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, if you are being retaliated against as a result of taking legal FMLA leave to care for your child, then you may have an FMLA/retaliation claim. You will have 180 days to file an FMLA claim with the PHRC, and 300 to file with the EEOC, from the date of the retaliation. The PIP itself, and any termination due to the retaliation, are both instances of discrimination/FMLA retaliation, and the clock will be starting on the dates of each of those actions. You should speak with an employment attorney ASAP on how to preserve evidence, protect your rights and protect your job.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Jul 27, 2016 11:26 AM [EST]

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