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$21,000 Settlement in Suit Alleging Violations of Family Medical Leave Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Corizon Health, Inc., agreed to pay $21,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging it violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

The November 1, 2012, settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed by Makayla Wright. She was employed by Corizon from August 2010 until her termination on June 29, 2011, at which time she was over eight months’ pregnant.

In early June 2011, Wright asked her human resource representative about taking some time off for doctor-requested bed-rest as she neared her due date of July 16, 2011.

Because she was not yet eligible for leave because she had not been employed for 12 months or had not worked at least 1,250 hours, she inquired about taking FMLA leave after her baby was born. She was informed she could use two accrued “PTO/sick days” and that she had 60 hours of extended time that could be used to cover the time she was on bed rest.

To further assist her, Wright was placed on a four-day per-pay period schedule until her leave accrued in July 12, 2011. It was advised that she use her short-term disability to cover her absence up to August 9, 2011, which was when she would become eligible for FMLA leave.

On June 29, 2011, Wright received a voice-mail message to call Corizon. She was then informed she was terminated. At the time, she still had accrued PTO to cover her time off. Corizon paid her for that PTO upon termination.

Wright was granted a right to sue by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and met the Florida Commission on Human Relations requirements to do so. Represented by attorney Christopher C. Sharp, Wright filed suit against Corizon on August 29, 2012. The complaints alleged violations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and FMLA.

The November 1, 2012, settlement provided for writ to receive $7,000 for wage damages, $7,000 for emotional distress and other compensatory damages, and $7,000 in attorney fees and costs. See: Wright v. Corizon Health, Inc., USDC, M.D. Florida, Case No. 2:12-cv-478

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Related legal case

Wright v. Corizon Health, Inc.