What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State
I was fired from my FMLA eligible job while on FMLA in December 2011. My employer claims that I was supposed to call in everyday that I was on continuous leave until my leave was approved by MET Life, the company they hired to process FMLA paperwork. This requirement was not disclosed to me. I attempted to speak with HR, but they never called me back after receiving my initial complaint. So, I filed for unemployment after the last day that my FMLA leave was in effect and my employer had reported me as having abandoned my job. I fought and provided proof of following all state requirements and company requirements that I was told to by my direct supervisor. Eventually the case was brought up before an administrative law judge, and she ruled in my favor stating that pursuant to RCW 50.20.066(1) that I was not disqualified from unemployment benefits. They appealed with the commissioner's review office and lost. Currently, all courses of action for further appeal have passed their deadlines. Since I had to fight for so long to get my unemployment benefits I was unable to pay for COBRA benefits, so I have lost my health insurance completely and now have a gap in coverage.
So, I am filing a lawsuit against my former employer for violating the FMLA. I am currently working with a lawyer who is working with me as a favor. He's not very familiar with this sort of law and, honestly does not seem very interested in my case. So, I'm trying to do some research on my own behalf so that I can make sure I'm following the best course in the case.
I understand that I am only able to sue for actual damages, and my current lawyer thinks I can easily get a years salary. But I'm more concerned with the medical benefits. How is a monetary value added to medical benefits? Is there a monetary value? Is there a possibility of my medical benefits being reinstated if I win in court?
Another thought I had was, if I win the FMLA violation case, can I turn around and sue them for wrongful termination since that would clearly be the case? If so, could I not then ask for punitive damages?
And finally can my out of pocket medical expenses be added to the actual damages? I am still being treated for the medical condition that I was on FMLA for, I'm well enough now that I could have returned to work when my medical leave was over.
Any help and advice would be very much appreciated.
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