Carol Ostrow Oct. 14, 2015, 12:20pm


A Lancaster man is suing a large, well-known Pennsylvania manufacturing corporation on charges of racial discrimination, in violation of the Civil Rights Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, alleging unlawful termination last year.

DeVon Wright sued Aluminum Co. of America, doing business as Alcoa and Alcoa North American Rolled Products, in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 9, claiming extreme discrimination, severe harassment and a pervasively hostile work environment in his April 2014 job loss.

The suit states that the plaintiff, an African-American male, was employed by the defendant at its Lancaster factory from January 2012 through April 2014. As one of few minority employees, the suit states, he was regularly denied training opportunities and overtime hours.

According to the grievance, when Wright complained to supervisors that co-workers called him derogatory nicknames, they laughed and took no action. The plaintiff claims that following his report harassment not only continued, but escalated.

Contending that colleagues “followed him around and placed bets on when he would be terminated,” the plaintiff avers that rules were enforced selectively to his disadvantage: that he was cited for carrying a beverage container when others were not; suspended for five days; and accused of faulty production labeling.

Finally, Wright maintains, his employer engaged in retaliatory discharge on April 6, 2014, when Alcoa allegedly terminated him for production mistakes instead of offering solutions when he asked for help according to procedure.

Claiming his dismissal was based on racial hostility and masked with pretextual reasons, Wright seeks compensatory and punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Patrick McDonnell and Anna Darpino of McDonnell & Associates in King of Prussia and Garen Meguerian of Paoli.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:15-cv-05555-LS

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