Woman claims she was fired after claiming FMLA benefits

By Bree Gonzales | Jan 31, 2019

MORGANTOWN — A facilities director is suing a public university and its alumni association, citing alleged retaliation.

Mary Kinsley filed a complaint in Monongalia Circuit Court against West Virginia University Alumni Association Inc. and West Virginia University, alleging that they retaliated against her when she attempted to receive Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits.

According to the complaint, Kinsley alleges that on Feb. 13, 2017, she filed for FMLA benefits to attend to her mother, who had suffered a stroke, and her request was approved on Feb. 23, 2017. On March 2, 2017, she was notified by the defendants that her employment would cease effective June 30, 2017. Kinsley was replaced by an unqualified person. Between May 2017 and August 2018, Kinsley applied for 25 positions within West Virginia University and was not selected for any of them. 

The plaintiff holds West Virginia University Alumni Association Inc. and West Virginia University responsible because their alleged actions were willful and malicious and violated 29 U.S. Code § 2615, and 2617, and the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks damages including lost wages, benefits, back pay, front pay, liquidated damages for indignity and inconvenience, and punitive damages as well as pre-judgment interest, attorney's fees and costs, and other relief the Court may find just and proper. She is represented by Mark A. Atkinson and John-Mark Atkinson of Atkinson & Polak PLLC in Charleston.

Monongalia Circuit Court Case number 18-C-488

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Atkinson & Polak, PLLC Monongalia Circuit Court

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