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Dyer v. Ventra Sandusky, LLC

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 8, 2019

Jerremy P. Dyer, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Ventra Sandusky, LLC, Defendant-Appellee.

          Argued: March 13, 2019

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio at Toledo. No. 3:16-cv-02817-James G. Carr, District Judge.

         ARGUED:

          Dennis E. Murray, Jr., MURRAY & MURRAY CO., L.P.A., Sandusky, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Thomas J. Gibney, EASTMAN & SMITH LTD., Toledo, Ohio, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Dennis E. Murray, Jr., MURRAY & MURRAY CO., L.P.A., Sandusky, Ohio, for Appellant.

          Thomas J. Gibney, Carrie L. Urrutia, EASTMAN & SMITH LTD., Toledo, Ohio, for Appellee.

          Before: MERRITT, CLAY, and ROGERS, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          MERRITT, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         In this Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference suit, 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(1), plaintiff Jerremy Dyer seeks damages against his former employer, defendant Ventra Sandusky, LLC, for terminating him under defendant's no-fault attendance policy. The district court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment. Dyer v. Ventra Sandusky, L.L.C., 317 F.Supp.3d 953 (N.D. Ohio 2018). For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand for further proceedings.

         I.

         Defendant Ventra Sandusky is an automotive supplier with a manufacturing facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Ventra Sandusky purchased the Sandusky operation from Ford Motor Company on July 1, 2012, and the Ford employees became Ventra Sandusky employees on that date. Dyer was an hourly, full-time employee working as a "Technician" for defendant Ventra Sandusky. He suffers from migraine headaches that often prevent him from working several days per month. As an hourly employee, Dyer was a member of the United Auto Workers, Local 1216, and therefore subject to the collective bargaining agreement between the union and Ventra Sandusky. The collective bargaining agreement contains a no-fault attendance policy that was in effect throughout Dyer's employment. See 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement at 60-61.

         Ventura Sandusky's no-fault attendance policy does not require the employee to justify an absence by presenting a note from his doctor or other equivalent evidence. Pursuant to Ventra Sandusky's no-fault attendance policy, between .5 and 1.5 points are assessed for absences, depending on whether the employee calls in to report the absence and whether the employee is absent for his entire shift or only part of it. Id. Progressive discipline is imposed at various thresholds along the point system, and once an employee accumulates 11 or more points, he is terminated. Certain absences, including any leave under the FMLA, are expressly excluded from the ...


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