Capital One Auto Finance accused of terminating cancer-stricken employee

By John Suayan | Jul 20, 2018

SHERMAN – Capital One Auto Finance, Inc. has been sued by a Texas man who claims the business fired him for having cancer.

William Hammack filed a lawsuit against his ex-employer on July 19 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

In the complaint, Hammack states that he was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in 2014 and his managers were sympathetic toward his condition. A supervisor named Nik Bogan, however, refused to support the plaintiff throughout his treatments and his career advancement, the original petition says.

Hammack’s suit adds that the company’s FMLA policy required the complainant to give advanced notice regarding absences, but his illness “did not always allow him to comply with this requirement.”

“In response, Bogan directed that any absences the plaintiff experienced without advance notice were to be classified as ‘unscheduled PTO,’” court papers say. “Within the defendant’s nomenclature, this designation is viewed negatively and can lead to discipline.”

The suit further explains that it was company policy intermittent FMLA leave was approved in 6-month increments. Hammack says his initial intermittent FMLA leave lasted from November 2016 to April 2017 so he applied for a new period.

He reportedly accrued 150 hours of paid time off and was FMLA eligible, but the defendant fired him on May 4, 2017 for two late arrivals allegedly classified as “unscheduled PTO.”

“The defendant was aware of the condition and the resulting effect on the plaintiff’s work,” the suit says. “The defendant failed to engage the plaintiff in an interactive discussion regarding a reasonable accommodation and the defendant failed to provide the plaintiff a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation was available – namely, the plaintiff had PTO that could be used in the instance of absences or late arrivals.”

Consequently, Hammack seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by Dustin A. Paschal and Paul W. Simon of the law firm Simon | Paschal PLLC in Dallas.

Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 4:18-CV-0513

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