On Monday, a former employee filed a lawsuit against ICARE Health Management in the District of Connecticut. Plaintiff Nadesha Morris alleged that the defendant violated the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
The complaint described the FFCRA as an act that “amended certain provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) … and enacted certain leave provisions under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).” Therefore the plaintiff argued that violating the FFCRA means potentially violating the other two acts.
The defendant is a company that manages nurses at hospitals and other healthcare providers. The plaintiff reportedly began her employment with the defendant as a full-time CNA in 2013. In December of 2019, she got FMLA approval to miss work for the upcoming birth of her child. She gave birth on January 29 and planned on returning to work full time on March 25.
Morris was now a mother of four and kept those kids in schools and daycares during the day so she could work. Unfortunately, by the time she was ready and scheduled to return to work, the COVID-19 pandemic had caused many of the schools and daycare facilities to close when the governor declared a public health emergency.
On April 1, the FFCRA was officially put into place. From this point on the plaintiff said that she “asked the Defendant Human Resources Representative if she could return to work on a per diem basis which would allow the Plaintiff to adjust her own hours. Morris was told she would have to apply to be per diem which request was then denied by the Director or Nursing. She was told that the fact she did not have childcare was her personal problem and not an accommodation the company would provide.”
This caused obvious problems for the plaintiff and, as a result of those problems, the defendant sent her a letter requesting that she resign in late May. She was subsequently terminated on June 5, 2020.
The plaintiff asserted that this was retaliatory behavior that violates the FFCRA and the amended acts within it. The plaintiff requested that she be awarded financial compensation and either reinstatement or front pay.
The plaintiff is represented by Cicchiello & Cicchiello.