Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dewan v. Universal Granite and Marble

March 6, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Virginia M. Kendall, United States District Judge

Judge Virginia M. Kendall


Plaintiff Rahul Dewan ("Dewan") sued Defendants Universal Granite and Marble, Inc. ("UGM"), Chicago Granite and Marble, Inc. ("CGM"), DS Constructions, Ltd. ("DS"), Sunil Sikka ("Sikka"), Anika Narula ("Narula"), and Rakesh Malhotra ("Malhotra") (collectively "Defendants") individually and in their official capacity as "employers" claiming that they violated the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. and 5 U.S.C. § 6381 et seq., by terminating him after he applied for and attempted to take FMLA leave. Dewan's Complaint also includes state law claims against Defendants seeking to recover wages, commissions, benefits, expenses and damages for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress ("IIED"). Defendants moved to dismiss and attached extensive exhibits to their motion. Dewan moved to strike the exhibits.


Defendants employed Dewan from September 2000 through October 24, 2007. At the time of his termination, Defendants employed Dewan as General Sales Manager. Dewan suffers from plantar fasciitis, a serious and painful foot condition requiring medical treatment. On July 4, 2007, Dewan requested vacation time for a scheduled surgery to correct his medical condition. Dewan alleges he completed all requirements prior to taking FMLA leave and informed Defendants of his medical condition on four separate occasions, July 4, September 30, October 3, and October 23.

On September 4, 2007, Dewan applied for vacation leave for October 8-13 and October 25-29. The vacation leave was approved, but on September 30, 2007, Sikka, recently hired as the Regional Vice President, asked Dewan to resubmit his vacation requests.

On October 3, 2007, Dewan applied for FMLA leave with Defendants' Human Resources Department ("HR"). HR gave Dewan an application for his doctor to complete. On October 8, 2007, after Dewan began his vacation, Sikka sent an email to Dewan stating that his leave is only approved for October 8-9, and ordered Dewan to report to work on October 10. Less than two hours later, Sikka sent Dewan a second email with a "Final Warning" letter attached.

On the morning of October 9, 2007, Dewan's foot condition significantly worsened and he sought treatment from his doctor. At 9:28 a.m. that day, he told Defendants that he would not be able to return to work until October 16 or else he would risk permanent damage to his feet according to his doctor's orders. The next day, HR responded to Dewan in two emails and indicated that October 8-16 would be covered under FMLA but Dewan was required to submit the FMLA paperwork from his doctor.

On October 11, 2007, Malhotra, the Chief Operating Officer, sent an email to staff reassigning Dewan's sales and corresponding sales commissions because Dewan was on FMLA leave. On October 15, Dewan returned to work and provided a doctor's release note to HR. HR acknowledged receipt of the note, but claimed it was insufficient and instructed Dewan to correct the paperwork. The next day, Dewan confirmed with HR that he would follow up with his doctor. On October 17, Dewan twice requested pay, commissions, and repayment of expenses that Defendants owed him. On October 20, Dewan arrived at work and reported to HR that he was unable to complete the FMLA application because of a heavy workload.

Dewan's foot condition forced him to be absent from work on October 22-23, 2007. At 11:18 a.m. on October 23, HR indicated that Dewan would be on FMLA leave from November 9-December 21, 2007, and calculated his paid and unpaid hours. HR provided this information to Dewan, Sikka, and Malhotra. At 12:16 p.m., HR updated Dewan's FMLA leave, affirming in an email to Dewan and Sikka that Dewan's leave from October 9-15 was covered under FMLA, but that the Certificate of Health Care Provider form was not properly completed. The email included a warning that FMLA leave would be converted to unapproved leave if the paperwork was not provided and told Dewan that all employees have only 15 days to complete the paperwork. HR further warned Dewan that he must provide the necessary documentation by October 25 or he would face discipline and/or termination for any unapproved absences.

At 1:29 p.m. that same day, Dewan responded to the HR Manager and attached the previously-provided doctor's note. Dewan stated that he needed to take off October 22 and 23 due to an emergency medical reason. At 3:09 p.m., HR responded to Dewan with an email stating that a certificate of health was needed, not just the doctor's note. The email also notified Dewan that the FMLA leave for October 25-29 was not approved and directed him to check with Sikka concerning the status of his leave. At 3:32 p.m., Sikka emailed Dewan instructing him to respond to the "Final Warning" Letter dated October 8. Sikka informed Dewan that any facts not disputed would be assumed to be true.

At 10:08 p.m., Dewan emailed his doctor's office to verify that the FMLA paperwork was completed and faxed to Defendants. Dewan asked his doctor to provide any additional necessary FMLA paperwork or forms to Defendants because he had no previous experience with applying for FMLA leave. At 10:55 p.m., Dewan notified HR and Sikka by email that upon his doctor's advice and due to his extreme pain he would be on complete bed rest from October 23 through November 9, 2007, the date of his surgery. Dewan again requested help in completing his FMLA paperwork. A few minutes later, Dewan replied to the Final Warning and disputed all statements and factual assertions included in the letter.

The next morning, on October 24, 2007, Dewan sent an email following up on his request for FMLA leave. Dewan noticed that his access to office email and other office software had been denied. At 12:08 p.m., HR informed Dewan that the FMLA paperwork was improperly completed and that additional paperwork was required for each FMLA leave. At 12:31 p.m., Dewan replied and requested that the certificate of health forms be emailed to him because he was on bed rest and could ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.