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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

Employee Fired After Told to Apply for FMLA so Supervisor Allegedly “Wouldn’t Have to Fire” Her.


Employee Files Lawsuit against Alvernia University for Retaliation

Peggy joined Alvernia University as an administrative assistant in 2007. Her main responsibility was to assist the facilities department. Peggy managed severe anxiety, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome. When she had to involuntarily move out of her university housing, her condition worsened.

concerned business woman at computer

In June and July, Peggy missed four days of work due to being ill and dealing with her conditions. Her direct supervisor pulled her aside and told her to apply for FMLA intermittent leave, allegedly “so that [he] wouldn’t have to fire [her].” Immediately, following her supervisor’s advice, Peggy applied for FMLA leave. Her doctor filled out the paperwork, noting her anxiety, insomnia, and IBS, and writing that she’d “have to miss work” for 6-12 months.

Alvernia University approved Peggy’s FMLA leave and retroactively approved her July absences as FMLA. The university also required that as a part of their Employee Assistance Program that Peggy attend counseling. She attended her three appointments between September and October.

Mid-way through December, Peggy suffered a flare-up of her insomnia. She called in at 5 am to notify her supervisor that she wouldn’t be coming in. Company policy required that employees call off before the start of a normal workday, which was from 8 am – 4 pm. Peggy hoped to work the following day. She attempted to sleep and set multiple alarms to ensure she woke at 7 am. When she woke at 9:15 the next morning, Peggy immediately called her supervisor and requested FMLA.

Two days later, when Peggy was at work, she was called into a meeting and fired. She shared that the reason she was fired was for her 76-minute delay in calling off. Peggy believes she was fired for her medical conditions and use of FMLA leave. As a client of KM&A, Peggy seeks her rights under the law. KM&A represents employees who face discrimination, retaliation, and termination due to their disability.

Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 5:18-cv-02675-JP

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.

For more information about this case, contact Attorney Sean Ruppert at (412) 626-5550  or at

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.

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