Mother of Four Fired While Husband Dying of Stage 4 Melanoma May Proceed with her FMLA claim, recommends federal court Magistrate Judge

Federal Magistrate Judge Recommends Denial of Forward Air, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment

……Defendants seek Summary Judgment because they contend Plaintiff was ineligible forFMLA leave. (Doc. 14). They argue that the undisputed evidence shows Plaintiff was notemployed within 75 surface miles of at least 50 other employees of the same company so shewas never entitled to FMLA benefits. (Doc. 14, p. 3). Defendants state that there were only 6 FMLA eligible employees at the Middletown facility (MDT) when Plaintiff sought her FMLA benefits on September 30, 2011.  In her Brief in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff states that Defendants should be barred from arguing ineligibility based on equitable estoppel. (Doc.18, p. 9). Plaintiff points out that the evidence shows Defendants represented to her in writing that her leave was covered under the FMLA. Plaintiff has alleged that she detrimentally and reasonably relied upon Defendants’ representations, and that these representations caused her damage. We agree with Plaintiff that since Defendants represented in writing that she was an eligible employee under the FMLA and that her leave was covered under the FMLA, even though the evidence shows she was not, there exist disputes of material facts regarding the equitable estoppel doctrine as to both of Plaintiff’s claims. As mentioned, Plaintiff has shown that she detrimentally relied upon Defendants’ stated representations……



Schweitzer Report and Recommendation 8713