(LegalLaw247.com, August 12, 2013 ) Boston, Massachusetts-A former dialysis nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital filed suit on March 11, 2010, alleging age and handicap discrimination and retaliation under Chapter 151B and the Family and Medical Leave Act in state Court. The judge dismissed the 151B claims at summary judgment, leaving as the sole issue for trial whether the defendants retaliated against the plaintiff for taking FMLA leave. The case was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict against both the hospital and the plaintiff’s former super.
The plaintiff worked as an acute hemodialysis nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital for about five years, when she initiated an FMLA leave for a disability and later extended her FMLA leave for a non-occupational work injury. When the plaintiff sought to return to work by a previously agreed date of return, however, the employer denied plaintiff's reinstatement in a cursory phone conversation, despite her physician's written consent to plaintiff's return to work. Defendants instead gave the plaintiff's job to a nurse the hospital admitted was "unqualified to perform dialysis" at the time plaintiff sought reinstatement.
After a four day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of this nurse in the amount of $1.24M for front pay and back pay. The verdict is also subject to statutory prejudgment and post judgment interest. Plaintiff can also recover reasonable attorneys’ fees under the FMLA, however there is no recovery for emotional distress damages under the FMLA.
Attorney Margaret Plaza is a member of the national attorney network on LawyerCentral.com. For more information on Plaza Law Group, please visit http://www.plazalawgroup.com/.
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