Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill., said it would appeal a federal jury's $11.65 million award to an employee who accused it of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act. The award in U.S. District Court in Chicago includes $10 million in punitive damages against the hospital system and $450,000 in punitive damages against each of the two supervisors charged in the complaint. Chris Schultz accused 676-bed Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill., of firing him from his building operations job of 26 years for failing to meet work quotas imposed by his supervisors while he cared for his ailing parents. "We're disappointed by the outcome and are currently evaluating our options (but) do intend to appeal," Advocate spokesman Michael Maggio said. In 1998, Schultz was named the hospital's most valuable employee. "His supervisor just took a dislike to anyone who refused to bow to him," said Charles Siedlecki, Schultz's attorney. Additional damages, including payment for back wages, could be imposed by the judge in the case. -- Susanna Moon
$12 million judgment in family leave act case
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