Mother’s FMLA declare in opposition to Geoffrey Fieger dismissed, however feud continues

A federal judge has dismissed a Family Medical Leave Act lawsuit filed by one of his employees against attorney Geoffrey Fieger: a mother who says she was not allowed to work from home to care for her ailing son during the pandemic .

Although the case was dismissed in federal court, the plaintiff said she now plans to prosecute it in a state court, where she will make the same charges against her former boss.

Attorney Polina Milman, who worked for Fieger for two years, sued the well-known plaintiff’s attorney and his law firm last August, alleging she was illegally fired after filing for vacation during the pandemic. The woman says HR agreed to her request to work remotely for two days to take care of her two-year-old son, but Fieger refused to let her work from home on those days, and she did dismiss.

Fieger has denied any wrongdoing.

“She tried to find an excuse for the fact that her child is sick,” Fieger told the Free Press earlier. “I know she lied. She has no medical apology. She never offered a medical certificate. She never applied for FMLA. She never did anything.”

Milman’s attorney, labor attorney Deborah Gordon, disagrees, saying she plans to fight in a state court.

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“Nothing about what this (federal) court has done has anything to do with the fact that Fieger unnecessarily fired a good young lawyer and mother because she had to stay at home with her child,” said Gordon. “These facts are still touched.”

Reached for comment on Friday, Fieger yelled at a reporter saying the case was over.

According to the lawsuit, Milman’s son has difficulty breathing, fell ill during the pandemic and his daycare center closed due to COVID-19. The lawsuit cited the FMLA – the federal law that grants certain employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected vacation per year.

Milman claims Fieger fired her in retaliation for her request for FMLA vacation, which is illegal under federal law.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy dismissed the FMLA lawsuit, concluding that Milman had failed to demonstrate that her son’s medical problems were serious enough to warrant FMLA protection.

According to the FMLA, a “serious health condition” is a condition that requires hospitalization or ongoing medical care – neither of which applies to the woman’s son, the judge wrote.

“Granted, the plaintiff’s son had contracted a respiratory infection that required five days of hospitalization and the use of a nebulizer,” wrote Judge Murphy. But that happened long before she was released, he added.

Murphy also denied asserted state claims, albeit without prejudice – with the plaintiff being able to re-assert the claims. This is what Gordon is up to in the state court.

Gordon said she was disappointed that the FMLA lawsuit was dismissed but called it a “technique” and said she now plans to pursue the case in Oakland County Circuit Court.

“State law does not allow retaliation against a person who tries to go on leave to care for a sick child,” said Gordon.

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Gordon said she plans to argue, among other things, that under the governor’s orders at the time, her client was allowed to work remotely.

Fieger has called the lawsuit “complete nonsense”, saying that Milman is a volunteer who was fired for refusing to come to work.

“She has not applied for a vacation,” said Fieger previously. “You have to ask about (FMLA). She didn’t apply for anything. … She just didn’t want to work.”

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified financial damages, accuses Fieger of violating the FMLA by allegedly interfering with Milman’s right to indemnity and taking revenge against her for invoking that right, her to dismiss.

The lawsuit also alleges that Fieger violated Michigan public order “that an employer may not fire an employee if there are explicit legal statements prohibiting the dismissal, discipline, or other adverse treatment of employees who are in Act in accordance with a legal right or legal obligation ”.

Contact Tresa Baldas: [email protected]

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