Former Lowe's employee alleges needing FMLA leave was factor in termination

By Carrie Bradon | May 20, 2019

HUNTINGTON – A Putnam County woman alleges she was terminated by her former employer partly in retaliation for taking a medical leave.

Joyce Robinson filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia against Lowe's Home Centers LLC citing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

The suit states that the plaintiff was a full-time employee for the defendant beginning in 2012.

The plaintiff alleges she sought FMLA leave in 2013 because of a spinal fusion surgery and took four to five weeks off. The suit states the plaintiff was transferred to another store in Kentucky in 2013 and in 2015 she had another surgery and applied for FMLA leave again. The plaintiff alleges she missed four weeks of work and in Feb. 15, 2016, had a third surgery and received four weeks of FMLA leave. The plaintiff returned to work in March 2016 and had another transfer to the defendant's Hurricane store in February 2017. 

The plaintiff alleges was told that she would have to lift 50 to 80 pounds if she wanted to continue working for the defendant in May 2017. The suit states the plaintiff said that this was not possible and two weeks later she was removed from the management training program she was in. 

The plaintiff alleges she was accused of inappropriately touching a female employee on Aug. 10, 2017, which she denied. The suit states she was terminated the same day despite the defendant not providing her with a date of the alleged incident.

The plaintiff alleges the defendant interfered with her rights under the FMLA and took adverse action against her because she requested and/or received FMLA leave.

The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Hoyt Glazer of the Law Offices of Hoyt Glazer PLLC in Huntington.

U.S. District Court for the Southern West Virginia case number 3:19-CV-00260

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