John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 29, 2013, 4:48pm

HOUSTON - Alleging StandardAero Business Aviation Services LLC fired him for taking leave to care for his sick wife, Harris County resident Patrick Pepper has filed a lawsuit.

Pepper's suit, filed April 26 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, states the company knew of the plaintiff's spouse's cancer diagnosis but mistreated him nonetheless.

StandardAero employed Pepper as a senior quality assurance manager at the time of the events in question.

In early 2012, physicians diagnosed his wife with stage III breast cancer, and the complainant immediately notified his supervisor he needed to accompany her to appointments.

The plaintiff took continuous Family and Medical Leave Act-mandated leave from May 22 to June 19, 2012.

During the aforementioned leave, according to the original petition, the respondent repeatedly contacted Pepper about certain project updates and an upcoming conference call though it knew he was going to be out.

He adds his supervisor gave him negative performance reviews of which he protested as well as subjected him to "increasingly hostile and intimidating" behavior.

Pepper returned to work only for said supervisor to increase his supposedly harsh treatment of him, the suit says.

Court papers further explain that the plaintiff detected the smell of alcohol on the breath of a crew chief at a company meeting in late August 2012 and subsequently kept notes on how the latter was not disciplined or tested.

StandardAero purportedly was not pleased with the plaintiff's actions, firing him on Sept. 24, 2012.

The complainant insists the termination was done out of discrimination and retaliation.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Steven E. Petrou of Cypress is representing Pepper.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1185

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