Woman says company refused to let her return to work

By Kyla Asbury | May 21, 2015

CHARLESTON – A Wirt County woman is suing PWNR LLC after she claims it refused to let her return to work when she attempted to.

Enid L. Lowe was employed by the defendant, doing business as Worthington Nursing & Rehabilitiation Center, from Jan. 20, 1992, until Sept. 16, as a restorative nursing assistant, according to a complaint filed March 26 in Wood Circuit Court and removed to federal court May 8.

Lowe claims in a meeting on Sept. 16, she provided Tessie Rose, the assistant director of nursing, a doctor's slip dated Sept. 11, describing accommodations that were necessary for her to continue to perform the functions of her position.

The accommodations were primarily limitations on lifting and Rose informed Lowe that she would not be allowed to return to work with the restrictions and sent her home, according to the suit.

Lowe claims Rose told her someone would contact her later and, later that day, Charlene Kimberly, the facility administrator contacted her to discuss the request for accommodation.

Kimberly informed her that the defendant's corporate headquarters would not approve the request and Kimberly requested that Lowe return to her physician and ask the physician to remove the restrictions, according to the suit.

Lowe claims on Oct. 14, she received a letter from Patrick Schoen informing her that her Family and Medical Leave Act request was not approved because she had not submitted a medical certification which had been forwarded to her Sept. 29.

Schoen informed Lowe that if she did not submit the FMLA paperwork by Oct. 21, her FMLA leave would be denied and her absences could be subject to the attendance policy, according to the suit.

Lowe claims on Oct. 21, she informed Schoen that she had previously submitted her physician's note to the defendant on Sept. 11 and that the defendant refused to allow her to return to work, and that Schoen then informed her that it accepted her resignation effective Oct. 21, defining her departure from employment as job abandonment.

Lowe is seeking compensatory damages and reinstatement to her job. She is being represented by Walt Auvil.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:15-cv-06004

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