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View More Press Releases by Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Press release:

DOL Files Suit Alleging Michigan DHHS, Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital Violated Family and Medical Leave Act

Issued by: Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Date: Nov. 30, 2016

Date of Action: Nov. 28, 2016

Type of Action: Family and Medical Leave Act complaint

Name of Defendants: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital

Allegations: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division revealed that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital interfered with an employee’s FMLA entitlements and retaliated against him for taking protected leave.

Investigators found that Michigan DHHS and the hospital expected the employee to complete the duties of a full-time employee while on leave and denied the employee a promotion to assistant director of nursing.

The employee made two requests for intermittent FMLA leave in June 2015 to care for family members, who had serious health conditions and required transportation to medical appointments.

Resolution:  The department is asking the court to issue an injunction, and require the employer to pay lost wages of at least $6,252, an equal amount in liquidated damages, and any other make-whole remedies under the FMLA, including reconsidering the employee for promotion.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.

Quote: “The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has a legal responsibility to allow an eligible employee to take medical leave when provided with proper documentation,” said Mary O’Rourke, district director for Wage and Hour Division in Grand Rapids. “This worker did everything required to request leave properly, care for his family and protect his job. The Family Medical Leave Act was enacted to protect employees in just this type of circumstance so that they can request leave in order to balance both their job and family responsibilities.”

Court: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Docket Number: 1:16-cv-01368

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View More Press Releases by Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor


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