Employee sues after allegedly losing job for taking time off to care for father

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 3, 2013, 2:12pm

LUFKIN - A long-term employee has filed a lawsuit against his employer claiming he was fired for taking approved family medical leave to care for his father who was suffering from bone cancer.

Brian K. Thigpen filed suit against Lufkin Industries Inc. on May 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division.

Thigpen was an employee of the defendant and claims he was terminated after he missed work to be with his father who suffered from bone cancer.  According to the lawsuit, Thigpen requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act on Nov. 15, 2011, and the leave was approved.

Thigpen states on June 29, 2012, his father suffered an emergency and was taken to the hospital. Thigpen told his supervisor why and where he was going. When Thigpen returned to work on July 3, 2012, he was terminated for failing to call into work while he was gone.

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

The plaintiff is seeking an injunction to stop further FMLA violations and for an award of damages for all monetary losses, liquidated damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

Thigpen is represented by . A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 9:13-cv-00112

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