Gene Johnson Jan. 28, 2016, 1:56pm


HARRISBURG – A Hamlin machine operator is suing a Dunmore chocolate maker, alleging he was fired because of his age.

Mark Strausser filed a lawsuit Dec. 21, against Gertrude Hawk Chocolate Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleging violation of the American with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Strausser, 48, while working as a machine operator for Gertrude Hawk Chocolate, contacted the company’s human resources department in December 2014 to check into an inpatient rehabilitation facility to treat alcoholism and also requested some time off.

On his second day back, the suit says, Strausser was given a letter detailing he was being assessed a number of attendance points for his time in rehab. Following management’s refusal to remove the points and believing he was being discriminated against, Strausser informed management he would consult legal counsel, the lawsuit states, and, immediately thereafter, he was fired.

Strausser seeks a jury trial, back pay, front pay, salary, promotions as well as reinstatement, plus punitive damages and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Ari R. Karpf of Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti PC of Bensalem.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case number 3:15-cv-02458-JMM

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