“Julie” is a 33 year old female. She worked at a bank for 6 years and was exceptional – She got promotion after promotion. Her boss told her: “We have big things in store for you.” He sent her an email saying that Julie was one of the best hires he ever made.
Julie gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, “Mike.” Shortly after his birth, doctors diagnosed “Mike” with cystic fibrosis. When Julie returned to work from maternity leave, her supervisors started questioning her about the costs of Mike’s health care and health insurance. They asked whether Julie was on the bank’s insurance, which she was. The bank pulled Julie off its leadership track and also pulled major clients from her portfolio. Next, the bank denied Julie certain training opportunities. Finally, it terminated her employment because it said she wasn’t on leadership track.
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We had the honor of representing Julie. We sued the bank for a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA is a federal law that, among other things, prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for using insurance benefits. The bank quickly folded, and agreed to pay $125,000 to Julie to settle her claims.