An ex-courier for FedEx accuses his former employer of using a DUI arrest as false pretext
to fire and replace him with a younger worker who would earn a lower salary, according to a wrongful termination suit filed at the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.
Peter Hissim, of Bath, Pa., seeks damages in excess of $50,000 against FedEx, where he worked in the delivery department for more than 20 years. He claims that his work with the company has always met or exceeded standards and the termination was based solely on his age. The plaintiff also requests a declaratory and injunctive judgment against FedEx, restraining the company from allegedly continuing its discriminatory practices.
According to the complaint, Hissim notified his manager in May 2012 that he had been arrested for driving under the influence while on vacation. Company policy requires employees to report any driving incidents, either during or away from work.
The claim says that Hissim qualified for an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program that included a 90-day outpatient program, which he completed in July 2012. According to the complaint, authorities never suspended his license.
A year later, however, Hissim's manager told the plaintiff that a motor vehicle report listed his license as having been suspended, and Hissim was suspended with pay for two weeks, followed by another suspension without pay. On Oct. 31, 2013, Hissim received a letter from FedEx that his employment had been terminated.
The plaintiff claims that the company's fair treatment program for disciplinary actions was unfair and biased, and his managers denied prior knowledge of Hissim's DUI and qualification for ARD. Hissim claims that the company used the arrest to justify its decision to hire a younger employee.
Hissim is represented by Donald Russo in Bethlehem, Pa.