Cabell man says Bob Evans wrongly fired him

By Cara Bailey | Jul 17, 2008

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man filed a suit against a chain restaurant after he was injured and fired because he could not work the hours the restaurant required.

Mark Cihy filed a suit May 28 in Cabell Circuit Court against Bob Evans Farms.

Cihy was employed as a manager at Bob Evans in Barboursville when he suffered an injury in April 2005. Cihy claims he injured his right knee, which required surgery.

According to the suit, Cihy took a leave of absence and returned to work in August 2005, under a restricted work order. He continued to work until January 2006, when he took a second leave of absence for a follow-up surgery on the same knee.

Cihy returned to work Feb. 8, 2006, and continued to work 10-hour days, and on some occasions, worked more than 10 hours.

"The stress placed on (Cihy's) knee from this rigorous work schedule contributed to (Cihy) suffering another injury to his right knee," the suit says. "Accordingly, (Cihy) took a leave of absence from his employment on Nov. 11, 2006, for a third surgery."

Cihy returned to work Aug. 11, 2007, under the restrictions that he was to sit for 30 minutes after working for two-hour intervals. However, he claims Bob Evans failed to accommodate his restrictions and directed him to take a leave of absence.

According to the suit, Cihy received a letter of termination Oct. 29, 2007, stating that his termination date was Nov. 11 on the same year. The letter stated that Cihy exceeded the 52 weeks of medical leave provided by Bob Evans.

Cihy started working for Bob Evans when he was 29 years old, and worked for the company for 21 years. He was fired when he was 51. Cihy claims he was not permitted retirement, although he had been in a general management position at one location for more than 20 years.

Bob Evans policy allowed employees who had worked for the company for more than 7 years to retire at age 55.

Cihy claims he was a victim of age discrimination, and that Bob Evans fired him based on his age and the short period of time until his retirement.

According to the suit, Cihy suffered humiliation, embarrassment, emotional and mental distress, loss of personal dignity, lost wages, lost retirement and benefits including health insurance.

In the five-count suit, Cihy seeks punitive and compensatory damages.

Attorney David Moye is representing Cihy. The case has been assigned to Judge David Pancake.

Cabell County Circuit Court case number 08-C-478

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