A woman in another state is in the process of suing her employer after she was fired last year over the need to take care of her daughter. This seems a case worth mentioning this week, as her situation could happen to Louisiana residents as well. The steps she is taking to seek compensation are certainly appropriate.
According to reports, at the beginning of 2020, the woman’s daughter — age 5 — came down with a bad case of pneumonia and strep. The mom had to take a week off of work to take care of her. Her response from her employer was that anything over five days off is excessive, but she was granted the time. A couple of months later, her daughter was diagnosed with a respiratory infection which made her extremely vulnerable to developing COVID-19, so the child’s doctor ordered them to quarantine.
Despite being told via email by her employer no one would be fired for needing to take time off for COVID-related reasons, less than a week into her doctor-ordered quarantine, this woman lost her job. She is claiming the firing violated the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She is seeking a jury trial and over $75,000 in damages.
Why her actions are appropriate
Families in Louisiana and elsewhere experience medical emergencies. Employers may not like that they have to give their employees time off for these emergencies, but the law generally requires them to do so. This woman’s choice to take legal action is appropriate because she had all the documentation needed from her child’s health care provider to at least qualify her for FMLA protection. She has every right to hold her employer accountable for their actions and her resulting losses. With the assistance of legal counsel, Louisiana residents who find themselves in similar shoes may take similar actions if they feel they were wrongfully terminated by their employers.