BATH — Two former Bath Iron Works employees are suing the shipyard after they were fired in July, stating they were exercising their rights on approved medical leave, alleging it was a violation of the Family Medical Leave and Maine Family Medical Leave Acts.

David Brady and Richard Pye were longtime employees of BIW who worked under approved conditions of the medical leave laws for serious mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

According to U.S. District court documents, the company terminated Brady from his 26-year position as a carpenter when he was allegedly seen consuming beer with a co-worker at a restaurant after using his intermittent FMLA to leave work one morning due to “debilitating and incapacitating exacerbation of his stress and anxiety.”

Brady, a Bath resident, had reported to both his “lead man” and supervisor about his leave that day, the suit said.

Pye of Dresden, a 28-year employee, had requested an excused day because of a flare-up in his mental health condition, but he was denied by his supervisor.

He was dealing with a legal issue at the time and was fired after allegedly using his leave to attend court and then return home to recover, which he felt “was using his right to FMLA leave the way it was supposed be used,” according to the suit.

Both men are requesting that the company restore them to their respective positions and pay for lost wages and benefits, including $100 per day since the violations, among other requests.

Prior to these two suits, the Maine Human Rights Commission had also found reasonable grounds of discrimination in the case of two BIW employees in November, issuing them “right-to-sue” letters out of 16 other complaints against the company that were deemed to have unreasonable grounds.

Brady and Pye’s attorney, Samuel Riotte, of the Topsham law firm McTeague Higbee said he didn’t have further comments on the case Tuesday.

In an email, BIW spokesman Matt Wickenheiser also declined to comment on the suits at this time.


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