Covenant Medical Center Employee wins over $500k in Lawsuit

Michigan – Amanda Perry, former office coordinator, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her previous employer, Covenant Medical Center, for retaliating against her by terminating her employment.

Perry started her career as a biller for Covenant’s Visiting Nursing Association Department. In 2012, she received a promotion to office coordinator for two physician’s offices. Perry’s medical history included psychiatric diagnoses. Prior to her promotion, she managed to keep her medical condition under control. Two years later, Perry’s medical condition exacerbated in July 2014.

Perry requested a medical leave of absence after her medical symptoms grew worse. Between the end of July and mid-August, courts records indicate Perry took multiple days off. Although Perry has worked for the Covenant Medical Center for several years and qualifies for time off under the circumstances, Perry’s supervisor still questioned the amount time she took off from work. Perry claims her supervisor said, “Get it together.”

The Family Medical Leave Act permits employees under qualifying employers to take an “unpaid job-protected leave” for up to twelve workweeks. Employees who suffer from severe health conditions that compromise their work performance are eligible for a medical leave. Perry decided to take her to leave from work between mid-August and early October.

Surprisingly, when Perry returned, her position had been transferred to a different medical facility. A few weeks following the transfer, Perry began to receive disciplinary notices. The first notice, “step I” was regarding her “behavior and performance” in the workplace. According to Perry, she did not receive a “step II” notice. Instead, Perry received the third notice, “step III,” as her final warning. The employer alleged Perry maintained an unethical work performance and emotional misbehavior in the presence of clients.

Perry’s alleged wrongful termination occurred after she received her fourth notice “step IV” which accused her of requesting a “false statement” from a coworker. The time frame between Perry’s return to work and receiving her “step IV” disciplinary notice led Perry to believe the defendant was retaliating against her on the basis of her medical disability. The hospital alleged the termination was strictly based on Perry’s work performance behavior described in the notices.

The jury consisting of eight unbiased individuals concluded the wrongful termination was a result of workplace retaliation. The jury also found Covenant Medical Center guilty of breaching the Family Medical Leave Act. Perry was awarded over $500k in a combination of front and back pay, and mental anguish. The defendant is also responsible for paying Perry’s attorney fees totaling nearly $100k. Both Perry and her wrongful termination lawyer are satisfied with the outcome of the wrongful termination lawsuit. Perry’s wrongful termination lawyer was informed by a reputable source, “They skipped steps and didn’t do anything to help her correct her actions.” Covenant Medical Center continues to stand by their decision regarding Perry’s termination and deny Perry’s allegations. According to a Covenant Medical Center Representative, the defendant looks forward to filing an appeal.

Seek a Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Workplace retaliation and wrongful termination tend to run hand in hand. If you feel you have been a candidate for wrongful termination as a form of workplace retaliation in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact the wrongful termination lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation. Our wrongful termination lawyers are well informed about the federal and state laws that protect employees from disparage treatment, and ready to provide legal guidance and representation throughout your case.