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Former Wendy's employee claims she was fired for taking FMLA time

When employees suffer from a serious illness or injury, they may need to take time away from work to recover. Abiding by the stipulations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Texas workers are able to take off work for the time that they need. Some employers choose not to recognize the person's right to take the time and may choose to terminate the employee instead.

A former worker for Wendy's has filed a claim against the owner of the franchise who employed her. She stated that she began to experience extreme pain in her abdomen and severe cramping, which prompted her to go to a physician the same day. She was told that her pain was caused by an ovarian cyst that would require surgery to have it removed.

Later during the week, the woman was not able to come to work, so she gave her boyfriend the notes from her doctor to give to her manager. She alleges that her manager started telling her co-workers that she had quit, and she was removed from the schedule. When the woman's file was reviewed, it showed that her manager had never recorded any of the notes. It is the policy of the franchise that, if an employee does not tell management that he or she will be gone for three days or more, or if he or she walks off the job, he or she has presumably resigned.

Allegedly, when the woman asked why she was not on the schedule, she was not given an explanation, but after a meeting with upper management, she was told not to file her Family Medical Leave Act paperwork. She claims that she didn't abandon her job and was not given two prior warnings before she was terminated. The franchise stated that it has intent on doing the right thing and that, if an error had occurred, it will be rectified. Texas employees who file for leave under FMLA, and are then terminated for exercising their rights under the act, may choose to file a claim against their employer. In a successfully navigated claim, the worker may be entitled to lost wages, monetary damages and being returned to work.

Source: consumerist.com, "Wendy's Worker Claims She Was Fired Over Ovarian Cyst", Chris Morran, Aug. 20, 2014

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