Father Wins a Family by Fighting His Firing

Father wins the right to protection by FMLA. Fathers face barriers at work to caring for family too. For more information on Family Responsibilities Discrimination, visit www.worklifelaw.org.


Jim Dotson hugs his daughter Aselya, 7, outside their home. Pfizer, for whom Dotson worked, fired him days after he adopted Aselya.

Yomat Shivron of the NewsObersver.com writes:

RALEIGH — Jim Dotson spent the past six years seeking the truth, not only from his employer who he charged wrongly fired him, but for himself and his family.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his former employer’s appeal, handing Dotson a victory even as it cost him his career, his home and most of his life savings.

Once a fast-rising division salesman for Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company based in New York, Dotson was fired in 2003. The firing came just days after he and his wife, Ann, returned to Raleigh from Russia with a 13-month-old adopted baby girl with chronic upper respiratory infections.

Pfizer claimed he was terminated because Dotson gave the Russian orphanage 24rounds of pediatric Zithromax, an anti biotic used to clear up ear and respiratory infections. The exchange, Pfizer argued, put the company at risk by giving the appearance of “quid pro quo,” essentially a bribe for the baby.

Stunned by the charges, Dotson sued the drug maker under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

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