Cabinetmaker sues claiming lay-off was in violation of FMLA

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Nov 15, 2012

MARSHALL - A cabinetmaker has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his employer claiming that he should not have been laid off while he was in the hospital.

Arthur Swanson filed suit against Master Woodcraft Cabinetry on Nov. 14 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Swanson was employed by the defendant as a full-time cabinetmaker for almost four years until his termination on Aug. 22.

According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 20, Swanson went to a medical clinic for an intestinal problem and then he reported for work. The following day, he had to leave work and go to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with renal failure.

Swanson claims he called the Human Resources Department and informed them of his medical condition and that he would use vacation time for work time missed, the suit states.

Swanson was laid off on Aug. 22 while he was in the hospital, according to the suit.

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

“Defendant terminated Plaintiff’s employment for the time he was forced to take off work to care for his serious health condition, which violates the protections of the FMLA,” the lawsuit states.

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

The plaintiff is represented by Tyler attorney William S. Hommel Jr. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:12-cv-00719

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