Wink v. Miller Compressing Co., No. 16-2339 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Wink had been employed by Miller since 1999. In July 2011, Miller granted Wink’s request for intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA, 29 U.S.C. 2612(a)(1)) leave through July 2012 to take her autistic two-year-old son to medical appointments and therapy. In February 2012, after Wink’s son was expelled from day care, Miller agreed to a hybrid arrangement. Wink could work from home two days per week, subtracting from the normal eight-hour workday the hours in which she was taking care of her son as uncompensated hours of FMLA leave time. In the summer of 2012, Miller, experiencing financial problems, decided that no employees would be allowed to work at home. On a Friday, the company gave Wink an ultimatum. On Monday, Wink reported to work, explained that she was unable to obtain day care for her son over the weekend, and left to take care of her child. She was terminated that day. A jury returned a verdict finding retaliation in violation of FMLA, violation of a Wisconsin statute, and breach of contract, but rejected a claim that Miller had interfered with Wink’s rights under FMLA. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. FMLA entitled Wink to time off necessary to care for her son.