BENTON – A respiratory therapist claims she was terminated after seeking unemployment benefits and medical leave.
Holly Mollet filed the suit March 18 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against St. Joseph's Hospital Breese, of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, doing business as HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital Breese and Hospital Sisters Health System.
According to the complaint, on July 29, 2002, the plaintiff began working for defendant HSHS and was assigned to work at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville as a respiratory therapist. Then on March 22, 2011, she was transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she worked in the same capacity, the suit alleges.
In the summers of 2014 and 2015, Mollet claims the defendant temporarily reduced the number of hours the plaintiff was assigned to work, which consequently reduced her income.
The plaintiff sought unemployment benefits. Although the defendant allegedly opposed her request, she was awarded unemployment benefits in 2014 and 2015, the suit claims.
In June 2015, the plaintiff suffered a serious health condition, which entitled her to time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the suit alleges. As a result, she took approximately six to eight weeks of leave from employment.
On Dec. 7, 2015, the plaintiff was terminated for alleged “excessive absences,” according to the suit.
Mollet alleges her termination was retaliation for seeking both unemployment benefits and Family Medical Leave.
The plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendants for back pay and benefits, front pay and benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief the court deems proper. She also demands a trial by jury.
She is represented by Ryan D. Rich and Daniel R. Price of Wham & Wham Attorneys in Centralia.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 16-cv-293