PHILADELPHIA — A former tractor trailer driver is suing an Iowa transport company, alleging racial harassment and wrongful termination.
Jesus Galvez of New Castle, Delaware, filed a lawsuit Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Ruan Transport Corporation of Des Moines, Iowa, alleging violations of Title VII and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA).
According to the complaint, Galvez was hired by Ruan as a tractor trailer driver July 6, 2010, working out of Ruan’s Coatesville, Pennsylvania facility. The plaintiff is a 59-year-old Hispanic male of Puerto Rican descent and has spent more than 30 years driving tractor trailer trucks, the suit says, and during Galvez's employment, his coworkers and manager repeatedly harassed him regarding his race and ethnicity.
The suit states on April 7, 2011, a union steward issued a written “advisement” to one of the managers known to harass the plaintiff and other employees. The harassment allegedly continued in various capacities until March 2014 when the plaintiff filed a charge of national origin discrimination against his coworker with the EEOC and cross-filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
On April 4, 2014, the suit says, Galvez was terminated because he was involved in an allegedly preventable accident but had received no warning, verbal or written. After filing additional charges with the EEOC, the plaintiff obtained a right to sue letter from the EEOC on Oct. 26, 2015, the complaint says.
Galvez seeks reinstatement to his position, compensatory damages for lost earnings, earning capacity and benefits, past and future, compensatory damages for mental anguish, pre and post-judgment interests, punitive damages, legal fees, costs, expenses and disbursements. He is represented by attorneys Patricia V. Pierce, Lori Mach and Noah Cohen of Greenblatt Pierce Engle Funt & Flores LLC in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:16-cv-00261-JHS