Former employee sues Jan-Care for unlawful termination

CHARLESTON -- A former employee is suing Jan-Care Ambulance, Inc. after he claims his employment was unlawfully terminated.

Jan-Care Ambulance Services - Tri-State Division, Inc., was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Ron Curry worked for Jan-Care as an emergency medical technician from approximately March 2009 until Sept. 20, 2011, according to a complaint filed May 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Curry claims in May 2011 he took leave from his job under the Family Medical Leave Act, providing explicit notice to Jan-Care that he suffered from disabilities.

In August 2011, just prior to or at the expiration of Curry;s leave under FMLA, Curry's treating physician gave notice to Jan-Care that he would be able to return to work on Sept. 20, 2011, according to the suit.

Curry claims upon submission of the return to work form, Jan-Care did not inform him that it was "unable to accommodate him in this manner by providing him with a temporary leave of absence" until Sept. 20, 2011.

Jan-Care also did not give Curry any notice that the request for temporary leave of absence until Sept. 20, 2011, would be unreasonable or that it would create any undue hardship for Jan-Care, according to the suit.

Curry claims on Sept. 20, 2011, he contacted Jan-Care to confirm that he had been released to return to work and also informed the defendants that his treating physician had requested as an accommodation that he not be required to work more than 40 hours per week.

Rather than discuss the requested restriction with Curry or his treating physician, or even to see if any other accommodation could be made for Curry's return to work, Jan-Care informed Curry that the restriction was unacceptable and that he was being terminated from employment, according to the suit.

Curry claims the defendant's actions were in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act for disability discrimination and failure to accommodate.

The defendants' conduct was unlawful, intentional, malicious and/or reckless, according to the suit.

Curry is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Maria W. Hughes and Mark Goldner.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-958

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