Jon Campisi Mar. 10, 2014, 5:00pm
A septuagenarian from northwest Philadelphia is suing Texas-based
Neiman Marcus Group over allegations that the company fired him for retaliatory reasons.
Alberto Morina, who worked as a tailor for the company, claims in a recently filed civil suit that the defendant terminated his employment in the summer of 2012 after he complained that sales people were improperly deleting alteration charges off of the plaintiff’s tickets, which went against the defendant’s policies and rules, and financially penalized him, the lawsuit claims.
Morina, who was 71 years old at the time, says that the deleting of tailoring charges off of his tickets was allowed to occur by a manager identified as Kinh Huynh, who the plaintiff says fired him at the “first opportunity.”
Huynh is not named as a party to the litigation.
The termination came about a month to a month-and-a-half after the plaintiff complained about the deletion of the alteration charges, the complaint states.
Morina, who had been employed with the company since July 2001, claims that the incident that gave rise to his complaints involved a salesman who attempted to get the plaintiff to take measurements of a friend’s jacket, one that was not purchased at Neiman Marcus.
The plaintiff confronted the salesman “as friends,” and told the man, using a profanity apparently in jest, that he was not allowed to work on “non Neiman Marcus stuff.”
Two weeks after the confrontation, the suit says, the plaintiff was fired after he was called in to his supervisor’s office.
Morina had no prior warnings nor was he ever written up for anything relating to the cursing incident prior to his termination, the complaint states.
He had also never received any discipline or warnings of any type related to his job.
“Plaintiff believes Defendant’s actions were retaliatory because Plaintiff had been employed by Defendant for 11 years and he had no disciplinary actions,” the lawsuit states.
Morina said that cursing, which was the reason given for his termination, regularly occurs between coworkers in the backroom area used for breaks.
The defendant is accused of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
Morina seeks back pay and benefits, front pay, unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience and mental anguish, interest and legal fees.
The suit was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia by attorney Fredrick M. Walton, Jr. of Harvey Pennington LTD.
The federal case number is 2:14-cv-01394-RB.