Volvo Plant Discourages, Punishes Family and Medical Leave Class Action

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants workers the right to take time out from their jobs for certain family and medical reasons without negative repercussions. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that Volvo Group North America, LLC discourages workers from taking this kind of leave and finds ways to make it disadvantageous, difficult, and costly for them.

Plaintiff Michael Wayne Parcell has worked for Volvo as an assembler in its Dublin, Virginia plant since 2005, working approximately sixty hours per week.

Unfortunately, his wife suffers from a long list of ailments, including, among other things, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, osteoarthritis, coronary artery disease, and spinal stenosis. These problems, which the complaint alleges qualify as “serious health conditions” under FMLA, cause her difficulty in performing activities of daily life and require frequent doctor visits. Because of her impairments, Parcell must take her to these appointments.

Parcell informed his supervisors of her condition. He was approved for FMLA leave in 2017 and reapproved in 2018.

However, the complaint alleges that “upon information and belief, Mr. Parcell’s supervisors hold a discriminatory animus against accommodating Mr. Parcell and have been resistant to his use of FMLA leave.” According to the complaint, the company has given similar treatment to others who have sought to take FMLA leave.

The complaint alleges that Volvo has a pattern and practice of doing certain things to discourage employees from taking the leave they’re legally entitled to:

  • Discouraging or punishing employees when they ask for or take such leave.
  • Categorizing leave taken as unexcused “personal business” absences.
  • Taking disciplinary action against them and denying them advancement.
  • Discriminating and retaliating against them for exercising their rights under FMLA.

For example, the complaint alleges that Parcell has been given a verbal chastisement and a written warning concerning his attendance concerned his FMLA leave. He has also been demoted and refused consideration for advancement opportunities. Parcell also fears that the classification of his FMLA absences as “personal business” absences, and the ensuing attendance points and disciplinary actions, will end up leading to termination.

Lately he has stopped using his FMLA leave to take his wife to medical appointments, which has led to a lack of medical care.

The class for this action is all current and former Volvo employees at the Dublin, Virginia plant who, at any time between August 18, 2017 and the resolution of this action, (1) have experienced interference in their right to take FMLA leave because of Volvo’s decision to categorize it as non-protected and unexcused “personal business” absences, and/or (2) due to this categorization, have been exposed to retaliation or discrimination based on their requests for or use of federally protected FMLA leave.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Employment

Most Recent Case Event

Volvo Plant Discourages, Punishes Family and Medical Leave Complaint

August 18, 2020

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants workers the right to take time out from their jobs for certain family and medical reasons without negative repercussions. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that Volvo Group North America, LLC discourages workers from taking this kind of leave and finds ways to make it disadvantageous, difficult, and costly for them.

Volvo Plant Discourages, Punishes Family and Medical Leave Complaint

Case Event History

Volvo Plant Discourages, Punishes Family and Medical Leave Complaint

August 18, 2020

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) grants workers the right to take time out from their jobs for certain family and medical reasons without negative repercussions. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that Volvo Group North America, LLC discourages workers from taking this kind of leave and finds ways to make it disadvantageous, difficult, and costly for them.

Volvo Plant Discourages, Punishes Family and Medical Leave Complaint
Tags: Employment Discrimination, Medical and Family Leave Act (MFLA)