Gene Johnson Jan. 6, 2016, 1:14pm


HOUSTON – A detention officer is suing the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, alleging the defendant incorrectly classified his sick leave, which led to his eventual termination.

Steven Griffin filed a lawsuit Dec. 9 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, alleging a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

According to the complaint, on May 8, 2012, Griffin, working as a detention officer/juvenile supervisor, was approved for intermittent leave from the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, mainly to treat gout in his foot.

The suit says the probation department’s policy is to charge an employee with ``dock time” if the employee’s absence is not due to sickness/illness, vacation, holiday or comp time. And more than 40 hours of “dock time” within a year leads to termination. Griffin alleges the probation department incorrectly classified his leave as “dock time.” 

Beginning in May 2014, the suit says, the probation department incorrectly classified Griffin's FMLA as “`dock time.” Specifically, according to the suit, Griffin was reprimanded and suspended May 27, 2014, for failing to remain on the job site for a mandatory stay-over, even though his absence was covered by his FMLA leave.

Subsequently, the plaintiff was fired Feb. 19, 2015, for accumulating 46 hours of “dock time” even though, according to the suit, his ``dock time” included FMLA leave.

Griffin seeks all back wages, lost employee and medical benefits, actual damages and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Shelly M. Davis-Smith of The Davis Law Firm in Houston.

Southern District of Texas Houston Division Court Case number 4:15-cv-03581

Organizations in this Story

Harris County Juvenile Probation Department
1200 Congress Ave
Houston, TX 77002

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