MARTINSBURG - A Berkeley County man has filed a suit against a national hardware and home improvement store, claiming he was fired for missing too much work even though he claims to be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Terry Parsons filed a suit June 29 in Berkeley Circuit Court, against Lowe's Home Center Inc. Parsons was employed by the Lowe's in Berkeley County.

According to the suit, Parsons had to arrive late, leave early or miss work altogether when his father moved in with him. His father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and died Aug. 2, 2006.

Parsons claims he provided his father's medical records to his supervisors, which they had requested. He also filled out FMLA paperwork to request intermittent FMLA leave. He was told the leave was not available at Lowe's.

Parsons then called his district manager, who concluded that he backed Parsons' supervisor and ended the conversation.

After that, Parsons was issued warnings and was written up. Parsons was then told he would have to accept a demotion to a CSR position and have a possibility of a future promotion, or he would be involuntarily demoted. He chose to accept the demotion July 14.

Less than a month later, his father died, and Parsons returned to work.

On Sept. 22, he was stuck by a truck while standing at a gas station, and was injured. He returned to work Oct. 11. He was then informed he had been fired because of the time he missed for his father's cancer and his accident.

Parsons claims he was fired because of his request for FMLA approved leave. He seeks actual damages, liquidated damages, interest and court costs.

Attorney David M. Hammer represents Parsons. The case has been assigned to Judge Gray Silver.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 07-C-552

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