The Eastern U.S. District Court of Michigan, Northern division, has referred a case against Safelite Group by a former employee to mediation. The case alleges violations to the Family Medial Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The parties involved, a former employee based in Livonia, Mich., and Safelite Group told the court “it may be helpful if this court refers the case to mediation,” according to court documents. The judge agreed.
Bishop claims that in 2009, he was diagnosed with diabetes. Later that year, he claims he developed diabetic neuropathy and was off work for treatment, according to the court documents.
“Plaintiff was required to take medical leave in the summer of 2011 for approximately eight days because the neuropathy was affecting the nerves in his leg, and he was having problems walking,” attorneys write in the court documents.
In early December 2011, an ambulance was called for Bishop while he was at work and he was taken to the hospital, his attorneys claim.
“Bishop continued to seek medical treatment in December 2011, attempting to find out what was wrong with his heart,” according to court documents. “… He returned to work in or about the end of January 2012.”
In late February, his doctor put him on work restrictions of “no lifting, pushing or pulling of more than 20 pounds,” his attorneys allege.
“On or about March 22, 2012, plaintiff was informed by Ken Savage, the head of the defendant’s human resource department in Michigan, that he could return to work,” according to court documents.
When Bishop returned to work on March 24, his attorneys allege he was told by the local manager that the position he had been brought back to was only temporary and that he “needed either to think about changing his occupation or going back to school.”
“On or about March 27, 2012, the plaintiff was informed by Ken Savage that the plaintiff working and the attempts to accommodate him were not working,” according to a copy of the lawsuit. “The plaintiff was informed by [someone] in human resources that his employment with Safelite was done and that he should go home. Plaintiff was told and/or required by Safelite to apply for disability.”
Safelite’s attorneys deny the company violated FMLA or ADA.
“All of defendant’s actions towards plaintiff were based upon legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons, unrelated to plaintiff’s alleged exercise of the FMLA rights. Any act or omission by defendant that is alleged to violate the FMLA was taken in good faith and defendant had reasonable grounds to believe that the act or omission was not a violation of the FMLA,” the company’s attorneys write in court documents.
In addition to referring the case to mediation, Judge Patrick Duggan also issued an amended scheduling order, including:
Motions: April 29, 2014
Deadline for Plaintiff’s Expert Report: May 10, 2014
Defendant’s Expert Report: June 20, 2014
Final Pretrial: June 30, 2014
Jury Trial: July/August 2014