Gene Johnson Apr. 19, 2016, 5:17pm


PHILADELPHIA – A former payroll clerk at Costo is suing the retail giant over a claim that he was fired for informing of his intention to take legally permitted time off to care for his foster child, who allegedly has significant disabilities that include post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Matthew Gravel filed a lawsuit March 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Costco Wholesale Corporation, alleging a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

While working as a payroll clerk for Costco, Gravel, in about the early spring of 2015, began to a foster a child with significant disabilities, the suit says. Before the foster child came into his care, according to the lawsuit, he spoke with management about taking time off to care for the child.

Less than six weeks after Gravel began fostering the child, and shortly after requesting to be permitted to adjust his schedule, he was suspended by Costo, according to the lawsuit, for allegedly falsifying his time card.

And, according to the lawsuit, he was fired after informing management of his intent to officially request FMLA leave.

Gravel is seeking compensation for past lost earnings, future lost earnings, salary, pay increases and bonuses, as well as punitive damages as permitted by applicable law.

Gravel, who is demanding a jury trial, is being represented by attorney Ari R. Karpf of Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti, P.C. of Bensalem.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Court Case number 2:16-cv-01463-PD

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U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Pennsylvania
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