Hospital employee files FMLA lawsuit after losing job shortly after taking medical leave

Michelle Keahey Jun. 22, 2011, 3:16am

A hospital employee has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against St. Tammany Parish Hospital after she was terminated shortly after her scheduled medical leave.

Claiming violations of the Family Medical Leave Act, Patricia Lisewski filed suit against St. Tammany Parish Hospital on June 15 in federal court in New Orleans.

Lisewski began her employment with the defendant as a phlebotomist in May 2007.

Around June 2010, she submitted a request to take accrued vacation days, the lawsuit says. Subsequent to her vacation request, she was diagnosed with a serious medical condition which required surgery. Around July 2010, she submitted a second request for leave for August. She had surgery on Aug. 6 and was released for work on Aug. 12, 2010.

On Aug. 17, 2010, the hospital terminated Lisewski for being in violation of company policy by not coming to work when scheduled and for excessive absenteeism, the suit claims.

The defendant is accused of violating the Family Medical Leave Act by refusing to accept Lisewski's initial release date of Aug. 16 and asking her to obtain an earlier release date and for failing to grant her additional leave under FMLA.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, restitution of benefits lots, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, interest, attorney's fees, court costs, punitive damages and liquidated damages.

Lisewski is represented by Metairie attorney Bruce C. Betzer. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01411

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