West Virginia Record

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Mine electrician says he was fired for using FMLA

By Ben Hart | Apr 22, 2014

CHARLESTON -- A former Winchester Mine section electrician is suing over claims he was wrongfully terminated for taking FMLA leave.

Heath Huffman filed a lawsuit March 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Patriot Coal Corp., Winchester Mining LLC, Remington LLC, Clyde McComas and Mark E. George, citing disability discrimination, retaliation, workers' compensation discrimination and wrongful discharge.

According to the complaint, Huffman was employed by Patriot Coal to work in Winchester Mine as a section electrician from June 6, 2011, until he was wrongfully terminated on Jan. 17, 2014. Huffman states he has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and invoked his FMLA rights to take medical leave during his last year of employment.

The plaintiff contends the defendants failed to perform its employer obligations under FMLA, including failing to notify the plaintiff of his FMLA eligibility and failing to tell Huffman if the leave would be FMLA leave. Huffman states around Jan. 17, the defendant failed to recognize the plaintiff's absences were FMLA protected and the plaintiff was terminated.

Huffman is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

He is being represented in the case by John Einreinhofer of The Law Offices of John Einreinhofer and Jonathan R. Mani, Damon L. Ellis and Bernard E. Layne III of Mani Ellis & Layne PLLC. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-602

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