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April 2011

Robin Symons Quoted in Daily Business Review Re: Judge's Ruling in Pregnancy/FMLA Discrimination Case

On April 11, the Daily Business Review reported on a judge's ruling in an ongoing case involving a pregnant employee's allegation of FMLA discrimination. In the article, Miami Partner Robin Taylor Symons explained that the case is in an early stage and the ruling only has the effect of allowing one challenged count to move forward; that count relates to an employee requesting FMLA leave before the employee becomes eligible. Robin further noted, "It doesn't wind the clock back and restart the clock in terms of eligibility, but it does impact the employee-employer relationship."

The plaintiff in the case, Alissa Cellucci, worked for five months at Nova Southeastern University when she learned she was pregnant in November 2009. She would have been qualified to take FMLA leave on her due date, but was short of the school's required 1,250 hours of employment at the time she told her supervisors of her plans to take leave. She was terminated in February 2010. She alleges that she was wrongfully terminated because she told her superiors of plans to take maternity leave under FMLA.

The U.S. District Court judge's March 25 ruling denied Nova's motion dismiss the case stating it made no sense to "require employees to give notice but not affording the protection for this assertion of their rights under the statute." Nova filed the motion to dismiss on the grounds Cellucci had invoked her right to take leave before she was eligible for leave.

Click here to read the complete article. 

Robin Symons



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