Fired Jail Major Wins More Than $850K In Medical Leave Suit

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A man fired from his job as the third-highest ranking officer at the county jail in Pittsburgh has won at least $850,000 from a federal court jury that ruled he was wrongly fired because of his age and to make an example of him for taking federally protected medical leave.

The verdict in Walter Mikulan’s lawsuit against Allegheny County was returned late Thursday. The county says it will appeal.

The county says Mikulan was fired for record-keeping issues. But Mikulan says Warden Orlando Harper fired him at age 58 in 2013 in an effort to get rid of older supervisors and because Mikulan used the Family Medical Leave Act for work-related stress at a time the jail was trying to discourage its abuse by some guards.

The verdict could roughly double once a judge calculates other damages.

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