A Montgomery County, Pa. man who alleges his harassing treatment and eventual termination from his job at a Wal-Mart were discriminatory in nature has filed a federal lawsuit against the corporation.
Philadelphia attorneys Sidney L. Gold and Brendan D. Hennessy, of the law firm Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., filed the wrongful termination lawsuit Aug. 19 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Schwenksville, Pa. resident Bryan G. Anderson.
The defendant named in the lawsuit is Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
According to the court filing, Anderson, 56, worked for the Wal-Mart at 635 Main St. in Harleysville, Pa. from June 2001 to late February 2010, at which time he was fired for allegedly engaging in an “unsafe work act.”
Anderson, through his lawsuit, however, maintains that the termination was discriminatory in nature.
The lawsuit claims that in the fall of 2008, when Anderson, who worked as an assistant store manager, received a new supervisor, he began experiencing “a campaign of discrimination” on the part of the new store manager.
The store manager once issued Anderson an “unjustified written warning” for talking to someone outside of the store, when, in fact, Anderson was not on duty at the time.
Anderson was also subject to verbal attacks, the complaint alleges, such as the time he was told he should “get out of retail” and “not be an assistant manager,” insinuating that Anderson was too old to perform his job duties.
The store manager “did not similarly taunt similarly situated, significantly younger individuals,” the lawsuit states.
Anderson eventually filed a complaint with the company’s Human Resources Department, but it was allegedly never acted upon.
“Defendant failed to investigate Plaintiff Anderson’s allegations or take any action to cause the discrimination and harassment to cease,” the lawsuit states. “Rather, the Defendant embarked upon a campaign of retaliation against Plaintiff Anderson for reporting unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”
Such retaliation included the store manager placing Anderson on overnight shifts.
In early February 2010, the suit states, Anderson injured himself at work and had to perform his duties on crutches. He soon filed a workers' compensation claim to cover the cost of physical therapy and doctor visits.
Although the store manager knew of Anderson’s condition, the plaintiff was nevertheless relegated to overnight work. Here, he had to work with heavy freight, an assignment that the lawsuit claims was related to Anderson’s filing the earlier discrimination complaint with human resources.
On Feb. 22, 2010, the store manager terminated Anderson for an “unsafe work act,” although the lawsuit doesn’t specify what that supposed act was.
Anderson, the suit claims, was eventually replaced by a younger assistant manager.
Furthermore, following Anderson’s “unlawful termination,” the defendant failed to give the plaintiff his final paycheck in addition to compensation for three weeks of accumulated vacation time.
The lawsuit accuses Wal-Mart of violating the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law.
The suit contains counts of age discrimination, retaliation and wrongful discharge.
Anderson seeks lost pay, front pay, compensatory damages for future pecuniary losses, pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and other nonpecuniary losses, as well as punitive damages and court costs.
A jury trial is being demanded.
The federal case number is 2:11-cv-05300-NS.