Quintana v. City of Alexandria

Topic(s): 
Worker's Rights
Documents:
Case Description: 

We are co-counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant Monica P. Quintana in a case arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Ms. Quintana was jointly employed by the City of Alexandria and Randstad, a staffing agency. Ms. Quintana informed her supervisors that she needed to miss work for a family medical emergency, and she was granted permission to go. Upon her return, her employers refused to reinstate her to her prior or an equivalent position.

In November 2015, Ms. Quintana sued both the City and Randstad in federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia under a joint employment theory of liability. The district court granted the City's motion to dismiss, holding that it was only a secondary employer and had not taken any action that would expose it to liability under the FMLA. In May 2016, Randstad made an Offer of Judgment under Rule 68 for $30,000 plus attorney's fees and costs, which Ms. Quintana accepted. Final judgment was entered against Randstad and in favor of the City. Ms. Quintana appealed only as to the dismissal of the City.

Briefing in the Fourth Circuit was completed in September 2016, and the Court held oral argument on May 10, 2017. On June 6, 2017, the Court issued unanimous opinion reversing the district court’s decision and remanding the case for further proceedings. The Fourth Circuit found that Ms. Quintana had alleged sufficient facts to show that the City was her primary employer and had the responsibility to provide FMLA leave and restore her to her job following leave, and that the City had unlawfully interfered with or denied FMLA benefits. The Court further found that Ms. Quintana had stated an interference claim against the City even if it was only her secondary employer, and also stated discrimination or retaliation claims against the City regardless of the City’s status as a primary or secondary employer.