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Fired jailer sues for old job

Claims county officials violated absentee policy with dismissal

YOUNGSTOWN — A federal lawsuit filed by a former Trumbull County corrections officer is continuing in the former worker’s effort to get his job back following his Feb. 6, 2019, dismissal after county officials claimed he violated the negotiated absentee policy.

An attorney for Jarrett Guysinger filed the civil action last spring against Trumbull County in U.S. District Court of Northern Ohio.

Judge Benita Pearson is presiding over the case, and no trial date scheduled. Court documents show the attorneys this week have been holding teleconferences to update the judge on the status of the case. Attorneys on both sides are preparing briefs and depositions ahead of early summer deadlines, the docket showed.

According to court documents, Guysinger, who was hired in June 2016, called off sick in early January 2019 after being treated at an urgent care Veterans Affairs facility with pneumonia and a broken rib. The county dismissed Guysinger after he had used up his accrued sick and vacation time.

According to the complaint, Guysinger claims he unjustly was fired because he had notified his employer of his illness and was not offered leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. However, documents show the county’s position is that it is the employee’s responsibility to ask for family leave.

An arbitrator ruled in November that the county’s action against the former jailer did not violate its collective bargaining agreement with Guysinger’s union.

An Aug. 28, 2019, entry on the case docket shows that the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office was dismissed as a defendant in the case.

Peter C. Mapley, a Cleveland attorney representing Guysinger, said his client was entitled to job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

“He (Guysinger) provided the county more than enough information for it to conclude that he was suffering from a serious medical condition,” Mapley said. “Despite this, Trumbull County neglected to inform Jarrett of his rights under the FMLA and its procedures regarding such leave. The county’s failure to advise Jarrett of his FMLA rights and its termination of him were a violation of federal law.”

The county’s attorney, Todd M. Raskin of Cleveland, did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment about the case.

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