Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Woman Says Panasonic Fired Her after Leave

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Woman Says Panasonic Fired Her after Leave

Article excerpt

A former executive assistant for Panasonic Corporation of North America has filed suit claiming she lost her job because she took family leave to care for her cancer-stricken father in Japan.

Yuko Yamamoto of West New York says in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Newark that the Secaucus-based electronics giant terminated her without either an explanation or the option to stay on, shortly after she returned to work from the leave in March.

Yamamoto accuses the company of violating the federal Family and Medical Leave Act as well as the New Jersey Family Leave Act, which allows workers to take paid leave.

Jim Reilly, a spokesman for Panasonic, said, "It's not the company's practice to comment on matters that are under litigation."

Yamamoto said she reported to a company division president and worked for Panasonic for 13 years, putting in so many extra hours in her final year that she earned $50,000 in overtime.

She said that once her father became sick, undergoing a series of operations that required the removal of his stomach, she filed all the requisite paperwork in January to allow her to take time off under the federal act, starting Jan. …

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