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Woman alleges vet clinic violated employment law in termination

In today's current job market, many workers may be hesitant to request time off -- even in circumstances that require it. When that reason involves a medical necessity, it may be shocking when an employer issues an ultimatum concerning a specific return date. Some Illinois residents have faced this situation and have been terminated when they could not comply due to doctor's orders, which could be a violation of the employment law in this state.

Recently, one woman filed a wrongful termination civil lawsuit against both a veterinarian and the animal clinic where she was employed. The suit asserts that the woman was employed by this clinic on two separate occasions; once for a period lasting six years, and a second time for approximately nine months. The first period of employment ended after the woman voluntarily left the area. On her return to that state, she sought out a second employment opportunity and was once again hired as the housekeeper.

Approximately eight months into her second stint, she suffered an undisclosed injury to her arm about which she informed her employer and sought medical treatment. However, when she attempted to return to her duties, she was unable to perform her job and was sent home. At that time, she requested a short medical leave. According to the lawsuit, when the employer demanded she return by a specific date, the woman was unable to comply due to documented medical tests that were previously scheduled. When she informed the clinic that she required three more days before returning to the position, she was subsequently terminated.

The woman's claim alleges that her termination violated several areas of employment law in her home state of Pennsylvania. The case has not yet been scheduled for trial, and neither the veterinarian nor the clinic have publicly responded. If an Illinois employee faces a similar situation, he or she does have the right to seek the best remedy available. An employment law attorney can assess one's case and provide guidance as to the best options regarding a client's particular circumstances. 

Source:, "Veterinary clinic's ex-housekeeper alleges medical leave led to her wrongful termination", Nicholas Malfitano, Sept. 18, 2017

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