A worker who was terminated after submitting compensation to workers in part due to stress can proceed with his claim that his application was retaliation.
In Sood v Tempur Sealy International Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled on Monday that the employee could continue his retaliation for filing a claim for workers and hostile work environment due of disability, but dismissed his accusation of emotional distress.
Ajit “Bobby” Sood worked as a senior product engineer for Lexington, Tempur Sealy-based in Kentucky. In 2018, he was asked to take on the role of another colleague in addition to his own and said that the increased workload caused him significant physical and emotional stress, fatigue and exhaustion. He told his supervisor that he intended to file a claim for compensation for workers affected by his injury and work stress and claimed that later that month he was reprimanded for failing to perform his duties.
In March, he suffered an occupational injury while tearing up mattresses at an event and filed a claim against workers. His doctor and psychiatrist decided that he was completely disabled between March 28 and June 1
The Court held that Mr Sood could pursue his claim for retaliation for filing a claim against workers. Although more than 90 days had elapsed between Soods' filing of his claim for damages and his dismissal – which Maryland courts have generally found to be too long a period to establish a close temporal link between an application and an adverse action – the court noted that Mr . Sood had been on medical leave for most of the time and eventually worked less than 40 days after his application was filed before he was terminated. The court also found that Mr. Sood "undoubtedly suffered his first unfavorable employment action" when he was placed on a performance improvement plan one day after informing his boss of his employees' demands and that the action could "support a reasonable conclusion as to the causal link between the claim and (Mr.) Sood's final termination" . ”
The court also found it likely that Sood was harassed due to his disability and considered that he could continue the claim, but rejected his claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.