Employee sues PNC Bank, alleging religious, disability discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Sep. 16, 2015, 12:13pm


A Pittsburgh man is suing PNC Bank, alleging he was discriminated against and ultimately terminated from his job because of his religion and disability.

Seth Neustein filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against PNC Bank, alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint, Neustein started working for the defendant in March 2008 as a technology support specialist and then was promoted to a technology support specialist officer and then a technical project manager in the span of about two years.

The suit states in addition to Neustein requesting time off to observe Jewish holidays, he also needed accommodations because of a significant lung condition that started in December 2010. These accommodations included undergoing physical therapy during work hours and being allowed to work almost exclusively from home.

Although his manager Cheryl Klippa allowed him to attend physical therapy, the lawsuit states beginning in summer 2013 she repeatedly made derogatory comments about his disability, accused him of faking his condition and threatened to fire him over his ability. Neustein alleges he was ordered to stop going to physical therapy during a period of time because Klippa said she had to cover for him when there was a shortage of staff.

According to the civil action, Neustein was also subjected to religious discrimination as Klippa would often harass him about taking days off for religious holidays, would threaten his job, tell him that his religion wasn't a big deal and that Jewish holidays were made up.

In April 2014, a few months after Neustein filed a formal complaint of disability and religious discrimination, the lawsuit says he was terminated because he was dishonest about his claims of discrimination. The plaintiff contends he was actually discharged for exercising his law-protected rights and in retaliation for making allegations of discrimination.

Neustein seeks reinstatement, lost wages and benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is represented by attorney Lawrence R. Chaban in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-01045-TFM.

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