Do you believe the managers and supervisors in this FMLA interference case? I don’t. It doesn’t pass the smell test. Why wasn’t this TE carrier immediately rehired when the TE complement dropped below the cap? There is attrition every week due to conversions to career and resignations.
Why didn’t her attorney cite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as well? She was due to give birth in two months when terminated. Pregnancy was the reason for her requesting FMLA leave.
The agency had 3,300 more CCAs in April than allowed in its labor contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers, a report USPS issued last week indicated. Were any of these CCAs similarly terminated? No.
Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) do not have five day breaks in their noncareer appointments. Why do City Carrier Assistants (CCAS)?
Name withheld upon request
METROKA-CANTELLI v. POSTMASTER GENERAL
Case No. 3:12 CV 242
BOBBIE METROKA-CANTELLI, Plaintiff, v. POSTMASTER GENERAL, et al., Defendants
United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
September 17, 2015
Cantelli began her career with the USPS in September 2004 as a casual letter carrier. In 2005, she became a rural carrier associate, which led to a permanent career position. She stayed in this permanent position until March 2008, when she had her third child. In May 2008, Cantelli resumed working for the USPS as a TE. During the events giving rise to this lawsuit, Cantelli was employed as a transitional employee TE.
USPS employed Cantelli by reappointing her yearly from 2004 until 2010. In mid-2010, Cantelli was pregnant with her fourth child and began to line up FMLA leave for when the baby was due. She spoke to her supervisor, Margaret Gliatta, who told her to apply for FMLA leave in anticipation of the baby’s arrival and Cantelli contacted the human resources department to inquire about FMLA leave. On April 8, 2010, Cantelli spoke to USPS’s FMLA coordinator who sent Cantelli the FMLA form packet. USPS requires eligible employees to complete the certification forms within 30 days before the start of the individual’s leave. Because Cantelli’s due date was in July 2010, she was not required to return the packet — per USPS policy — until sometime in June 2010.
Before Cantelli was able or required to return her packet, however, she was informed she would not be re-appointed after her NTE (not to exceed) date. Specifically, Cantelli received a letter on May 5, 2010, indicating she would “be separated from the Postal Service on May 15, 2010[,]upon completion of [her] appointment.” . Testimony was conclusive that this type of TE separation was rare in the Ohio Northern District.
On May 5, 2010 (so not even a month later) Cantelli was notified by USPS that her annual contract — the same one that had been renewed annually since 2004 — was not going to be renewed. Cantelli was terminated before her baby was born and before she could take FMLA leave. USPS claimed that Cantelli’s termination was part of a reduction in force — keep in mind she was the only transitional employee affected by the so-called reduction in force.
Cantelli sued, claiming USPS retaliated against her for trying to take FMLA leave and interfered with her ability to take FMLA leave by terminating her before she could exercise her upcoming leave request.
Cantelli also argued she was not “next up” for renewal when USPS chose her for separation. The decision to separate Cantelli occurred on May 3, 2010. Another TE’s NTE date was May 5, 2010, and his reappointment date was May 11, 2010. USPS explained that the TE’s paperwork had already been processed and therefore, his name was not listed in webCOINS as the “next up” for separation.
USPS argued that because Cantelli’s employment ended every year, she was not eligible for FMLA leave prior to her May 15, 2010 termination because she had not shown her pregnancy required time off, and she was not eligible for FMLA leave after her termination because she was just a former employee whose contract was not renewed. The court agreed with USPS’s first contention in that Cantelli could not show she was entitled to leave prior to her May 15, 2010 termination because she had no evidence suggesting she had a serious health condition (whether it was the pregnancy or something else) that rendered her unable to perform her job at any point before her termination.
“the Court finds Plaintiff has not established pretext by a preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, USPS is entitled to judgment on Plaintiff’s FMLA interference claim. Because the Court has determined a lack of FMLA interference”