Shipyard worker alleges that employers violated her FMLA rights

By Hoang Tran | Feb 22, 2016

NEW ORLEANS – A tack welder is taking her former employer over her allegedly unlawful termination and violations of her rights.

Gwendolyn F. Mousseau filed a lawsuit on Feb. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Louisiana against Bollinger Shipyards LLC, Family Medical Services LLC, Kimberly Broussard and Darren Duet for alleged violations of her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and Louisiana Disability Discrimination Act.

Mousseau alleges that she was hired as a tack welder for the Bollinger shipyard from January 2010 to September 2015. During the course of her employment, she claims to have received regular raises and performed her duties well without any disciplinary actions. Mousseau, however, alleges to have suffered a pre-existing sciatic pain.

On or about April 2015, she was allegedly assigned to a night duty. Shortly after, she claims to have experiences tiredness and cramps and pain on her arms and legs. She was granted FMLA leave to get a diagnosis on June 22, 2015, which revealed that she had a degenerative disc condition, the suit states. However, by August 2015, Mousseau alleges that she no longer felt any numbness or pain, and her neurologist, Dr. Jamie B. Huddleston, completed a detailed work status report on Aug. 28, 2015, stating that she was fit to return to her regular duties without restrictions. He also allegedly called Bollinger reiterating what he stated.

Mousseau alleges that defendant Broussard, a nurse for Family Medical Services (which services Bollinger), assigned Mousseau to light duty on Sept. 2, 2015, for alleged fear of exposing the company to financial risk. This is despite Mousseau’s doctors and nurses alleging that she is fit for work and despite there being no light duty jobs for her position, Mousseau alleges. Broussard allegedly informed Mousseau that she would have to undergo back surgery before she could return to work. Mousseau allegedly asked to speak to defendant Duet, the medical director of Family Medical Services, but was denied. She alleges that despite letters and phone calls from her doctors, defendants failed and refused to comply with FMLA and LDDA rules and regulations by denying her return to work.

Mousseau is therefore asking the court to issue an order directing defendant Bollinger to reinstate her to the position she previously held with all seniority, salary and benefits befitting of her history with the company; issue an injunction directing Bollinger to reinstate all her employment benefits including health insurance; award her general, special, punitive, and liquidated damages, the cost of the suit, and attorney fees; and any other rewards deemed just by the court. She is seeking a jury trial and is represented by Dale E. Williams in Covington.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-CV-01287-NJB-SS

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