Ex-N.H. employee sues Dell

A former Dell Computer engineer living in New Hampshire last week filed a family leave and disability discrimination suit against his former employer in federal court in New Hampshire.

William Schomburg of Atkinson said he was a senior systems engineer who made $117,000, with bonuses as high as $40,000 and stock options, but suffered from an unspecified medical condition and depression due to a family tragedy that the suit did not elaborate on.

He asked for and received leave in April of last year. Dell asked for a medical release form on June 29 to determine whether Schomburg could return to work. Schomburg faxed it to the Texas office, according to the suit, but was terminated on July 12, 2005, a day short of the 90 days guaranteed under the Family Medical Leave Act, according to the suit.

The termination letter stated that Schomburg had failed to respond to the June 29 letter, but the letter also allegedly said that it was “due to the review of the completed medical information stating your situation, Dell’s leave of absence policies and an assessment of Dell’s employee staffing requirement to maintain our business.”

Schomburg maintains that he was seeking to return to work, and he was being terminated because the company didn’t want to make a reasonable accommodation for his disability. He is seeking at least $300,000 through the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as for back pay and other punitive damages.

Schomburg’s attorney declined comment. Dell could be reached for comment by NHBR Daily deadline. – BOB SANDERS

Categories: News