Nicole Ryder of Harris County, Texas, has filed a federal lawsuit against Shell Oil Co., claiming that her employment was wrongfully terminated.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division), claiming violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition to Shell Oil Co., Shell Exploration & Production Co. was also named as a defendant.
According to the complaint, Ryder began working for Shell in June 2008. In August 2011, she signed a contract agreeing to remain employed with the company through July 31, 2013 in exchange for a retention payment of $60,300. Ryder learned she was pregnant in the spring of 2013.
Ryder claims she informed Shell of her pregnancy and stated that morning sickness had caused her to miss four days of work in May 2013. Ryder claims she was asked to submit leave paperwork under the FMLA and did so on June 27, 2013, but she inadvertently omitted the time period for which leave was requested. According to the lawsuit, her employment was terminated on July 8, 2013, and Shell declined to pay the retention bonus, asserting that Ryder did not remain employed until July 31.
Ryder is seeking the amount due under the retention agreement, back pay and front pay.