Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jan. 21, 2013, 2:52pm

MARSHALL - A former Upshur County employee has filed a lawsuit that claims he was terminated for taking medical leave protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Earnest Hoye filed suit against Upshur County on Jan. 14 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Hoye was employed by the defendant for approximately 10 years before his termination.

In early 2011, Hoye’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and he made a request for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for approximately six non-continuous weeks off from work to care for her, the suit states.

In June 2011, Hoye suffered a serious health condition during his employment while working to clear the roads following a storm from the previous night. According to the complaint, plaintiff’s treating physician advised the plaintiff to take time off work to recover from his illness and Hoye informed the defendant.

The defendant terminated Hoye’s employment on July 21 for being absent from work.  Hoye argues that his absence from work on leave time was protected by the FMLA.

The defendant is accused of violating the Family Medical Leave Act.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for lost wages and benefits, liquidated damages, compensatory damages, interest, court costs and attorney’s fees.

Hoye is represented by Eric M. Albritton, Michael A. Benefield, Brian E. Dollar and Andralee C. Lloyd of Albritton Law Firm in Longview and Scott E. Stevens and Desmond T. Jenkins of Stevens Love in Longview.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:13-cv-00023

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