Kansas City woman is accusing Lincare Pharmacy Services of retaliatory discharge for asserting her right to file a worker’s compensation claim. Sixty-two-year-old Leta Melton filed an employee discrimination lawsuit Thursday, Aug. 15 because she lost her job for allegedly pursuing worker’s compensation benefits.
According to the case, Melton accepted a position in January as a customer service representative with the mail-order pharmacy located at 10800 N. Congress Avenue, Kansas City in Platte County.
While leaving work on Feb. 8, Melton slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot, the case says.
The effect of falling forward on her knees and hands could be felt immediately, prompting her to return inside to report her occupational injury, the case states. Recognizing the severity of the situation, a supervisor allegedly instructed Melton to go to the Urgency Room and later opened a worker’s compensation claim. X-rays taken at the urgent care facility, the suit says, showed “degenerative changes” in the employee’s back.
A follow-up visit was scheduled, the case states.
Due to severe back pain on Feb. 22, Melton checked into the E.R. at St. Luke’s North Hospital, where she was examined and prescribed pain medication, it states. Melton, the suit says, attended her follow-up visit with Urgency Room and was told she needed to undergo several weeks of physical therapy.
Despite attending physical therapy as prescribed, Melton continued to suffer from severe back pain and returned to the E.R., states the case.
“The emergency room physician told Ms. Melton that she should not return to work until she is seen by the occupational physician,” the case states.
Retaliation alleged Melton relayed the information to supervising agents at Lincare Pharmacy Services but was informed by manager Kristy Sinclair she was going on unpaid administrative leave, the case says.
When the employee returned from the unpaid leave of absence, she “received a letter falsely accusing her of taking sensitive information in a yellow bag and that she needed to return it,” states court documents. Melton contends she did not take the documents her employer accused her of taking.
Still, Melton was discharged from her position. She received a letter from the company on April 1 saying they were letting her go on the basis that she was a “probationary employee” and was not a “good fit.”
As the lawsuit tells it, Melton’s employment was terminated in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim.
Melton’s attorney, Michael Williams, pointed out in the suit that she was fired the day after visiting her employer and informing them that she needed additional medical care.
Melton is seeking compensation for back pay and loss of benefits. The suit also claims Melton suffered “great emotional upset” from the retaliatory discharge. “She was frequently stressed out, lost sleep and worried about how she would support herself,” wrote attorney Williams.