Putnam School Board to Pay 50K to Resolve Leave Lawsuit

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

WINFIELD, W.Va. (AP) -- The Putnam County Board of Education has resolved allegations that it violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice made the allegations in a lawsuit filed against the school board over its termination of an employee. The lawsuit alleged that the board retaliated against the former maintenance electrician because he requested time off to care for an ill parent.

A consent judgment approved by the U.S. District Court requires the school board to pay the former worker $50,000 in back wages, the department said Monday in a news release.

The board also will train managers and supervisors on the law's rules and requirements, one of several measures that will be implemented to prevent future violations.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows unpaid leave for an employee's serious health condition, to care for a seriously ill family member, or to bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed child.

The leave also can be taken for certain military deployments and to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. Employers are barred from denying the leave for eligible employees.

"Today's judgment provides peace of mind for Putnam County Board of Education employees and their families who rely on the FMLA's critical workplace flexibility protections," said Mary Beth Maxwell, acting Wage and Hour Division deputy administrator. "This case demonstrates the Labor Department's commitment to ensuring that employees are not retaliated against or prevented from exercising their FMLA rights."

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