Pennsylvania Record

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Federal court officer alleges age bias in discharge

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 17, 2015

Kevin lovitz

PHILADELPHIA - A Langhorne man is suing his former employer, alleging unlawful age discrimination in his job loss.

John Gallagher of Langhorne filed a lawsuit June 2 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Akal Security Inc. Co., alleging age discrimination. 

According to the complaint, Gallagher worked for the defendant as a federal court security officer at its 601 Market St. location in Philadelphia from mid-May 1990 until late March 2014, nearly 24 years.

At the time of his discharge, he was 68 years old and earning approximately $72,600 annually, the lawsuit says. The suit states on Feb. 24, 2014, Gallagher was required to subdue an armed, mentally unstable person in the courthouse lobby during his work shift, disarmed the individual and notified the control room for backup.

Gallagher alleges following the incident he was placed on unpaid administrative leave and a supervisor told him he had violated several policies. The suit says no written policy existed outlining the purported proper procedures and that Gallagher's employer had not followed its own protocol when it failed to post more than one officer on the scene.

The complaint says Gallagher was terminated March 24, 2014. Gallagher alleges other younger officers were not subject to the same degree of discipline for similar instances and says his treatment and termination were rendered in violation of federal and state employment laws. He cities humiliation, distress and loss of self-esteem.

Gallagher seeks compensation for back and front pay and benefits, interest, attorney fees and court costs. He is represented by attorney Kevin Lovitz of The Lovitz Law Firm in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-03050-CDJ.

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