Casino Worker Allowed to Proceed with FMLA Retaliation Claim

Hospitality Law September 2018

Elizabeth D. Houghton, Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, authored an article in Hospitality Law, titled “Casino Worker Allowed to Proceed with FMLA Retaliation Claim.”

Following is an excerpt:

A Pennsylvania federal court recently dis­missed a former casino employee’s claims that he was terminated as a result of his disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related state law, but allowed the employee to proceed with claims that he was terminated in retaliation for taking intermittent medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act based on the temporal proximity between his leave and termination.

In Laborde v.Mount Airy Casino, No. 3:16-CV- 769 (M.D. Pa., 06/12/2018), former employee, Rodney Laborde, worked as a full-time floor supervisor at the Mount Airy Casino begin­ning in March 2010. Within Laborde’s first two years of employment, he received three disciplinary notices and was suspended on two occasions for being disrespectful towards other casino employees. Upon receipt of the third disciplinary notice in February 2012, Laborde denied any misconduct and informed human resources that he was having difficulty coping with the death of his father and was receiving treatment. Although Laborde’s supervisors recommended that he be discharged, HR decided not to terminate him. In June 2012, Laborde spoke to HR about taking intermit­tent medical leave based on his chronic back pain, gout flare ups, depression and anxiety, and was approved for intermittent FMLA. He took his first intermittent leave from July 16 to July 20, 2012.