Caldwell v. Holland Of Texas, Inc.

208 F.3d 671 (2000)


P is a single mother, working to support herself and her three-year-old son, Kejuan. P worked for D, which owns and operates several Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Texarkana, Arkansas. P worked for D for three years, and during that time, she developed an excellent record. On Saturday, June 7, 1997, Kejuan awoke with a high fever, pain in his ears, and congestion. P promptly notified Assistant Manager Loyce, prior to the start of her morning shift, that she would be absent because Kejuan required immediate medical attention. Loyce gave P permission to miss her shift. Kejuan was diagnosed with having an acute ear infection. Later that Saturday night, upon the request of an assistant manager, P worked an evening shift at one of D's other restaurant locations. P did not have any shifts on Sunday. When P returned to her regular work on Monday morning, June 9, 1997, Mark Monholland, a manager at the Hickory Street restaurant, abruptly fired P without discussing her absence of June 7, 1997. Eventually, Kejuan’s condition required surgery. P sued in that her termination violated the FMLA. The district court dismissed the suit because it concluded that, although the Act generally protects employees when their immediate family members have a 'serious health condition,' Kejuan's condition did not qualify. P appealed.