Truck driver alleges employee rights violated

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Jul. 21, 2015, 12:32pm


PITTSBURGH - A Brackenridge man is suing his former employer, alleging violation of his rights as an employee and as a human being when he was terminated.

Rodney Martin filed a lawsuit July 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against E.C.M. Transport Inc., alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint, Martin starting working as a truck driver out of the defendant's New Kensington terminal in January 2006, and around 2009 he needed to miss two to four days of work per month in order to care for his wife, who has renal failure.

The suit says although Martin provided a doctor's note to the defendant every time he missed work, E.C.M. Transport never informed him that his leave qualified as protected leave under the FMLA and also failed to properly designate his leave as FMLA qualifying.

Martin, an African-American, alleges after he began requesting leave to tend to his wife the defendant started treating him differently than white employees such as by giving him fewer miles and not giving him dedicated routes while white drivers were given more miles and dedicated routes.

The lawsuit states Martin was suspended in May 2014 after getting two flat tires on a dark and rainy day and then one week later he was terminated because of allegedly having too many accidents in the previous year even though this tire incident was the only one he had been involved in.

The plaintiff alleges he was terminated because of his race, his association with a person with a disability and in retaliation for taking FMLA leave. He says he has suffered emotional pain, anxiety, mental anguish, humiliation, loss of reputation, and loss of wages and benefits.

Martin seeks reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, back and front pay, compensatory and punitive damages, liquidated damages, attorney fees, court costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorneys David B. Spear and Erin Friez of Minto Law Group in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-00859-TFM.

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