26-year-old former employee of Akal Security Inc. is accusing the company of taking adverse employment actions against her following a few days absence from suffering a miscarriage.
Jayme Flaws, of Odessa, has filed a lawsuit in Platte County to redress alleged violations of the Missouri Human Rights Act and Family Medical Leave Act.
According to court documents, Flaws began working at Akal Security, which operates out of the Ambassador Building near KCI, as a security officer in 2013 and was later promoted to a supervisory position.
In June of 2017, the suit says, Flaws missed several days of work to heal and grieve after suffering a miscarriage. Even though Flaws returned to work with a doctor’s notice, the suit says Flaw’s “received a documented verbal warning,” for her absences.
About eight months later, Flaws was “diagnosed with anxiety and depression,” related to the miscarriage, states court documents.
While speaking with a manager inside an airport terminal about her diagnoses, the manager said that Flaw’s superior did not “believe” in depression, states the case.
Due to this conversation and the overall stigma surrounding mental health disorders, Flaws did not take a leave of absence, the case says.
But when she suffered an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication in July of 2018, Flaws notified the manager at the airport terminal that she wasn’t going to be able to make it in and would be turning in paperwork requesting unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act due to her medical condition.
About a week later, Flaws allegedly received a “personal action report” and was taken off the schedule “pending investigation,” wrote attorney Marc Middleton of the Cornerstone Law Firm.
As the lawsuit tells it, Flaws’ disability was a “motivating factor” in the adverse employment action taken against her.
Akal Security “engaged in a willful violation of the FMLA because defendant knew of its obligations under the FMLA and/or showed reckless disregard of those obligations,” wrote attorney Middleton.
Flaws is seeking not only back pay and lost benefits, but compensation for emotional distress and attorney fees.