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Michigan hospital at center of Family Medical Leave Act lawsuit

Some of our readers might think that hospitals are generally among the safest of places, both for workers and for those they care for. However, hospital employees, from doctors to receptionists to patient care techs to janitors, often face a variety of challenges throughout their day. One challenge all workers in Michigan could face is an employment law violation on the part of their employer.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor initiated a lawsuit against a Michigan psychiatric hospital, as well as the state Department of Health and Human Services. According to the lawsuit, a nurse who worked at the Kalamazoo facility was denied the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act when he requested time off to care for sick family members and was denied. Now, the DOL is seeking both lost wages and damages, benefits, as well as other actions needed to correct the employment situation of the nurse.

The lawsuit claims that the nurse was expected to perform his full-time job duties while taking protected leave. In addition, the lawsuit posits that the nurse was retaliated against after being denied a promotion to an assistant director of nursing. A DOL press release mentions that the nurse in question twice requested protected leave due to his family members being ill and needing transportation to and from medical appointments; he requested everything properly, noted a Grand Rapids district director for Wage and Hour Division.

Wage and hour laws are not to be taken lightly, especially in light of the key entitlements many workers have under FMLA. Getting the right information about employment law in Michigan can help a worker who has been denied FMLA benefits to begin the process of rectifying the situation.

Source:, "Feds sue Kalamazoo psychiatric hospital for denying nurse family leave," Rosemary Parker, Dec. 2, 2016

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