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Man with diabetes contends former employer violated FMLA

Being healthy is something that many people take for granted. In fact, in many cases it's not until an individual suffers injuries from an accident or is stricken with an illness or medical condition that the importance of health is truly realized. Individuals with chronic medical conditions must not only deal with the physical side effects of such conditions, but also the social and economic implications.

A man who suffers from Type I diabetes recently filed a lawsuit against his former employer in which he asserts he was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated. Under the terms of the Family Medical Leave Act, qualifying employees are allowed to take unpaid time off of work to deal with personal health problems, care for a newborn or newly adopted child or care for an ailing family member.

According to the lawsuit, during the man's first year of employment he suffered several adverse health problems related to the fact that he is a Type I diabetic. In order to deal with and seek treatment for his medical condition, the man took leave under FMLA. While federal law is clear that the jobs of employees who take leave under FMLA are protected, the man asserts he was fired when his absences from work exceeded 80 hours.

The man recently filed a lawsuit against his former employer in which he accuses the employer of discrimination and violating terms of both FMLA and the Americans With Disabilities Act. He is suing to recover compensation related to legal fees, lost wages and back pay and additional damages.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Employee claims termination due to medical lave to treat diabetes," Michelle Keahey, Aug. 26, 2013

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