Court reverses to allow FMLA retaliationn claim to go to trial
Allan Demyanovich sued his employer, Cadon Platings and Coatings, alleging that it retaliated against him and fired him for filing an FMLA claim. A 20-year employee, Demyanovich had been promoted to "area leader" and had a good record until his health deteriorated in 1998. Eventually he suffered from symptoms of congestive heart failure, but was able to return to work "able to do what he was doing before" according to his doctor.
He requested lighter duty, however, and his employer not only denied this request but continued to schedule him for overtime. The employer concluded (incorrectly) that it did not employ enough people to be subject to the terms of the Family Medical Leave Act and denied Demyanovich and accommodation. Cadon then terminated his employment and Demyanovich sued. Although the trial judge summarily dismissed the lawsuit, the appellate court overturned this decision. It held that there was a genuine factual dispute, given the opinions of Demyanovich's doctors, with regard to whether he was permanently disabled when Cadon terminated his employment.