Nineteen-year employee sues for FMLA violation

By Carol Ostrow | May 11, 2015

Total Petrochemicals

HOUSTON – A Harris County worker brought a complaint against his company for alleged violation of employment law dating to 2014.

Bradford Thompson, of Seabrook, filed a lawsuit against Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA Inc. in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on May 6, claiming 2014 and 2015 Family Medical Leave Act infringement.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff has been employed by the defendant for over 19 years. He required extensive medical leave due to health problems in 2014 for two separate instances requiring hospitalization, surgery and recovery.

Allegedly, Thompson had clearly communicated his need for FMLA leave to his employer. Thompson first suffered a ruptured appendix and subsequently developed complications from cataract surgery in December. The lawsuit states that he never exceeded his allotted amount of leave during the relevant time period.

Following his eye surgery difficulties, Thompson notified his employer of the need for additional FMLA in early 2015. The complaint states that after he returned to work March 24, 2015, the plaintiff received a document criticizing his work performance; was put on notice; and given a negative performance assessment on or about March 26 but was not allowed to view the bulk of it.

Allegedly, Thompson was criticized on several pretexts. When he protested the assessment, arguing that it penalized him and was retaliatory in nature, he was denied a raise. Thompson claims loss of wages and benefits; humiliation, embarrassment, anguish and distress; and damage to his credibility and future employment prospects.

Citing unlawful retaliation in violation of the FMLA, the plaintiff seeks: declaratory, injunctive and equitable relief; compensatory, punitive, liquidated and actual damages; front and back pay and benefits; interest; attorney’s fees; expenses; and costs. Thompson is represented by Gregg Rosenberg of Rosenberg and Sprovach, Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case no. 4:15-cv-01204.

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