NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A former Boeing employee has filed a lawsuit against the company claiming he was fired because of his involvement with a union.
In the suit filed on Aug. 30, Mahmoud Hamada claims a coworker informed he was fired in October of last year while he was in Egypt with his sick mother.
The lawsuit says that Hamada was hired in April of 2014 and was considered an exemplary employee and never received any discipline while employed with Boeing.
Hamada says he was assigned to work on the Dash-10 Boeing project and that almost all of the employees of the project were supporters of the Union and showed their support by wearing lanyards, red wrist bands, hats and shirts.
The suit claims that many Boeing managers did not like the union and that Hamada was told by manager Elias Johnson that he and other would lose their bonus if they voted for the union, that South Carolina was a right to work state and if they didn’t like it they could leave.
Hamada says he applied and was approved for FMLA in May of 2018 to help care for his sick mother and also received preliminary FMLA approval in June of 2018 to help care for his father who was in the hospital.
The suit says Hamada returned to work on June 19, 2018 and Boeing claimed the FMLA paperwork was incomplete.
In September of 2018, Hamada says he needed to travel to Egypt to again was ill.
Hamada says he called Boeing “Total Access” to explain his situation and received preliminary approval to be out of work for two weeks being told that he needed to fax paperwork from his mother’s physician.
On September 17, 2018 Hamada says he faxed the paperwork but was told the next day that Boeing didn’t have enough information for his request.
On October 8, the lawsuit says Hamada was informed his FMLA was denied and he couldn’t get in contact with Boeing.
Two weeks later Hamada claims he was informed by a coworker he had been fired.
Hamada says he returned to the United States on Nov. 1 and he had a voicemail from his manager saying he had been fired.
The suit says Hamada went to Human Resources at Boeing and was told he was fired for a rule violation and would be called later in the day with the reasons why but was not provided a reason while he was there.
Hamada says he received a letter two weeks later saying he had been fired by someone who was not his manager.
The suit claims Hamada was fired in violation of Family Medical Leave Act and for his involvement with the union and that managers at Boeing published false statements about him.
Hamada claims wrongful termination, family medical leave act violations, slander.
Boeing released the following statement:
Boeing adamantly denies Mr. Hamada’s allegations in this lawsuit. Mr. Hamada simply stopped coming to work and had extensive unexcused absences. He was terminated after failing to provide valid leave paperwork required by federal law and Boeing policy. We provided Mr. Hamada multiple opportunities to return to work or remedy his deficiencies, and he did not respond. Termination decisions are never made lightly, in retaliation for supporting a union, or in an unlawful manner. Boeing maintains a robust process to insure termination decisions are fully evaluated and that such actions are consistent.