(WXYZ) — Fired for asking to care for their sick son? That’s what a former employee at the Fieger & Fieger law firm is claiming in a new lawsuit.
We’ve all heard of employers allowing staff to work remotely during this pandemic, especially those with immunocompromised family members.
But this lawsuit paints a picture of the exact opposite.
Well-known personal injury attorney Geoffrey Fieger is facing a lawsuit himself, accused of violating federal legislation that gives employees who’ve lost childcare due to COVID-19 up to two weeks of paid sick leave.
In the suit, filed this week in federal court, attorney Polina Millman claims her son’s daycare closed due to the pandemic in mid-March.
The child had previously had a respiratory virus, and Michigan was just starting to get hit with the virus.
Millman claims that when she called Fieger, he denied her request to work from home on a Monday and Tuesday, so she had to use PTO.
She was already pre-assigned to work from home on that Wednesday. On Thursday, the lawsuit claims Millman’s son was feeling sick, and that she offered to take unpaid leave to remain out of the office, but was then allowed to work from home for the rest of the week.
Later that day, she was fired.
In the termination letter, included in the lawsuit, Fieger claims Millman had cleaned out her desk, failed to come to work because her child had a “minor cold” and that she’d been off for 10 days in less than three months.
Millman’s attorney says Fieger also violated the Family Medical Leave Act, and is seeking damages for what she claims was a wrongful firing.
In the lawsuit, Millman’s attorney Deborah Gordon demands a jury trial in this case.