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Scopelliti v. Traditional Home Health and Hospice

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

April 20, 2018

DINA SCOPELLITI, Plaintiff,
v.
TRADITIONAL HOME HEALTH AND HOSPICE, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM

          A. Richard Caputo United States District Judge

         Presently before this Court is a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Dina Scopelliti's Amended Complaint in its entirety filed by Defendant Traditional Home Health and Hospice. Because Plaintiff has failed to allege that she was denied a benefit under the FMLA, Count I of the Amended Complaint will be dismissed. Counts II and III, however, will not be dismissed because Defendant's concerns, detailed below, lack merit.

         I. Background

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Dina Scopelliti (“Plaintiff”) was hired by Defendant Traditional Home Health and Hospice (“Defendant”) as an insurance Verification Specialist in 2014. After Plaintiff joined Defendant's company she informed her superiors that she suffered from two medical conditions, chromic migraines and lupus. Plaintiff had been diagnosed with these conditions in 2010 and 2011, respectively. These conditions affected Plaintiff's ability to bend, walk, lift, and concentrate. Defendant was aware that Plaintiff would occasionally require her to take time off to seek treatment and attend doctors appointments.

         Plaintiff first requested intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) on July 30, 2015. This request was approved. She made a similar request in 2016, which was also approved. While Plaintiff had been approved for intermittent FMLA leave, Defendant required Plaintiff to use accrued paid-time off (“PTO”) for her doctors appointments. Further, in order to use her accrued PTO days for doctors appointments she was required to obtain a doctors note for each visit. Notably, Plaintiff does not allege that she had an insufficient number of PTO days to attend doctors appointments or scheduled treatments. Instead, Plaintiff simply avers that she had to cancel some appointments because Defendant did not consider intermittent medical appointments covered under the

         FMLA.

         Again, at some time in 2017, Plaintiff requested intermittent FMLA leave. Then, in February of 2017 Plaintiff made an additional request, she wanted to be allowed to use her lunch break at the end of the day for medical appointments. Defendant denied this request. On or about March 13, 2017, Defendant issued a policy regarding the use of leave for medical appointments during lunch. the policy stated:

[W]hen an employee has an appointment out of the office (such as a medical, dental, etc.) he/she [may use their] lunch break provided the appointment is less than 1 hour. If the employee anticipates that the appointment will be more than 1 hour, he/she must take P.. [sic] absence from the office. An employee can only request to take his/her lunch break for an appointment once quarterly. An employee cannot schedule his/her lunch break at the end of the day.

         On June 6, 2017, Plaintiff requested a medical leave of absence. Her request was denied even though Plaintiff had been approved for intermittent FMLA leave. Five days later, on June 11, 2017, Plaintiff's employment was terminated.

         B. Procedural History

         Based on the facts detailed above, Plaintiff filed a Complaint on January 5, 2018 and filed an Amended Complaint January 17, 2018. The Amended Complaint contains three Counts: (1) Violation of FMLA - Interference; (2) Violation of FMLA -Retaliation; and (3) Violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

         Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint in its entirety on March 12, 2018. While Defendant has not provided a Brief in Reply to Plaintiff's Brief in Opposition, the instant Motion is ripe for review.

         II. ...


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