Malatesta Law Office Files Lawsuit in Middle District of Florida against Orlando Business for Alleged Violation of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

January 2018

The Malatesta Law Office has filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida against Packaging Corporation of America, a manufacturing company, that conducts business nationally and in the State of Florida. The Plaintiff, a machine operator in this employment law case, alleges the Company violated the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. (FMLA) when he was terminated from his job following a protected leave of absence. After receiving notes from his physician for a leave due to severe back pain, the Plaintiff requested short-term disability and FMLA leave because his leave of absence would be greater than three business days. The lawsuit alleges the company, and a third party administrator, knew they were violating the Plaintiff’s protected leave of absence. The Plaintiff suffers from a serious medical condition.

The Plaintiff worked at the employer’s Polk County location. The company falls under FMLA because it employs 50 or more employees for 20 or more calendar work weeks in the calendar year.

Count I of the lawsuit alleges that the company engaged in FMLA Interference, causing the employee lost wages, salary, employment benefits and other compensation. The Plaintiff is demanding a) A judgment that Defendant interfered against the Plaintiff in violation of the FMLA; (b) Compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other remuneration; (c) Reinstatement of Plaintiff to a position comparable to Plaintiff’s prior position with back pay plus interests, pension rights and all benefits, or in the alternative, enter a judgment pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Section 2617(a)(1)(A)(i)(II) against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff for the monetary losses Plaintiff suffered as a direct result of Defendant’s violation of the FLMA; (d) Liquidated damages; (e) Prejudgment interest on all monetary recovery obtained; (f) All costs and attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting these claims; and (g) Any other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

Count II of the lawsuit alleges the company engaged in FMLA Retaliation causing the employee lost wages, salary, employment benefits and other compensation. The Plaintiff is demanding (a) A judgment that Defendant Retaliated against the Plaintiff in violation of the FMLA; (b) Compensation for lost wages, benefits, and other remuneration; (c) Reinstatement of Plaintiff to a position comparable to Plaintiff’s prior position with back pay plus interests, pension rights and all benefits, or in the alternative, enter a judgment pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Section 2617(a)(1)(A)(i)(II) against Defendant and in favor of Plaintiff for the monetary losses Plaintiff suffered as a direct result of Defendant’s violation of the FLMA; (d) Front pay; (e) Liquidated damages; (f) Prejudgment interest on all monetary recovery obtained; (g) All costs and attorney’s fees incurred in prosecuting these claims; and (h) Any other such relief as this Court deems just and proper.

The Department of Labor states:

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.

FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

  • for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.

Attorney Frank M. Malatesta is representing the Plaintiff in this Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case. The Malatesta Law Office serves both employees and employers who conduct throughout Florida with employment issues. The Malatesta Law Office has offices in Venice, Orlando and Miami, Florida.

For further information, please contact Frank M. Malatesta, Esq. at (941) 256 - 3812 or (888) 501 - 6612.