Woman says Rudd Equipment discriminated

WINFIELD -- A former employee is suing Rudd Equipment Company, Inc. after she claims she was discriminated against because of her health condition. On Aug. 13, 2010, while being on FMLA due to a health condition, Lonna R. Harless was terminated from her employment at Rudd Equipment Company, according to a complaint filed Aug. 13 in Putnam Circuit Court. Harless claims she was diagnosed with Sphincter of Oddi Disorder by her treating physician in April 2009 and later was also diagnosed with Gastroparesis, both of which have intermittent flare-ups. An employee at Rudd in the Human Resources department sent FMLA paperwork to Harless and explained that she would have to first use all of her personal, sick and vacation time before FMLA time would go into affect, according to the suit. Harless claims as a result of her intermittent flare-ups, she used approximately four to four-and-one-half weeks of her 12 weeks of FMLA time, which she was legally entitled to use. When Harless' employment was terminated, she was told it was because excessive absenteeism while being on FMLA, according to the suit. Harless claims "any health condition that prohibits one to work as often as done previously and affects daily life activity is considered a disability and legal protection while on FMLA." Harless claims Rudd discriminated against her because of her health condition. She is representing herself. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Phillip Stowers. Putnam Circuit Court case number: 12-C-255

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