Cases & Deals

Kraft Heinz obtains summary judgment on FMLA interference and retaliation

Client(s) Kraft Heinz Foods Company

Jones Day prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of Kraft Heinz Foods Company on a former employee's claims of that Kraft Heinz interfered with his right to take FMLA and retaliated against him for seeking FMLA when it terminated him for failing to comply with the Company's attendance policy.

Although Plaintiff argued that he was entitled to FMLA leave on the days in question because his HIV condition prevented him from working, Kraft Heinz argued that Plaintiff could not sustain his FMLA interference and retaliation claims because his HIV was under control and asymptomatic at the time, no decision-maker at Kraft Heinz was aware of his HIV status, and Plaintiff worked full shifts at his second job each day that he called in sick to Kraft Heinz. Kraft Heinz argued that Plaintiff's FMLA rights were not abridged because he was not entitled to FMLA leave and he was terminated for failure to comply with the Company's attendance policy, not because he requested FMLA leave.

The court agreed with Kraft Heinz, finding that Plaintiff did not provide any evidence that he was absent from work on the days in question due to a serious health condition. Because the Court concluded Plaintiff could not show he was entitled to FMLA leave on the days in question, both his FMLA interference and FMLA retaliation claims failed.

Ebrima Jallow v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-00249 (W.D. Wis.)