It took a federal jury just 30 minutes to find that DuPage County had not violated former Animal Care and Control Director Kerry Vinkler’s rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Vinkler, head of the department since 2005, was fired in 2012 for allegedly falsifying time sheets and for failing to account for time spent away from her position.
“The people of DuPage County should know that employees paid with taxpayer dollars are expected to show up and do their jobs every day,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said in a telephone interview. “If they don’t, there will be consequences.”
Vinkler’s suit charged that the real motive behind her dismissal was the time she took off between Oct. 4, 2012, and Oct. 16, 2012 for medical reasons.
At the time of the dismissal, Vinkler claimed that she had only made mistakes on one time sheet.
When she filed her wrongful termination suit in March 2013, the charges were limited to her claims that her rights had been violated under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Berlin said he was confident that, in the event of an appeal, a higher court would affirm the jury’s verdict in the case. He said he didn’t expect an appeal, because, “the evidence is so overwhelming.”
Vinkler’s attorney, Torrick Alan Ward, declined comment on the outcome of the trial and wouldn’t speculate on a possible appeal.
“I can’t comment on that right now,” he said.Tags: DuPage County, lawsuit