Lawsuit accuses burger joint of retaliatory firing

By Jon Campisi | Nov 15, 2011

A Montgomery County, Pa. woman is suing a local burger joint for wrongful termination, alleging the restaurant unlawfully fired her from her job of only one month.

Bensalem, Pa. attorney Ari Karpf filed the federal complaint Nov. 14 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Lisa Scretching of Pottstown, Pa.

The defendants named in the civil action are Jake’s Wayback Burgers, and the business’s owners, Daryl and Lynda Hendershot of Pottstown.

According to the complaint, Scretching, who was hired by the defendants to work at the business in July of this year, was fired in late August, soon after she complained of alleged racial mistreatment.

In late July through early August, the suit claims, management and other employees at the business made racially derogatory and discriminatory comments to and/or about Scretching.

Scretching complained to management about the comments, but the behavior continued, the suit states, with Scretching eventually taking her complaints to the business’s corporate management.

Soon after her complaints to corporate personnel, Scretching had her hours reduced by the defendants, what she claims was a retaliatory act for her speaking out.

Furthermore, the hours taken from Scretching, who is black, were given to white employees, the lawsuit claims.

“Defendants also expressed disdain for Plaintiff complaining to corporate about her concerns of discrimination,” the lawsuit states.

On Aug. 24, Scretching received what her lawsuit claims was a “pretextual written discipline from Defendants’ management because of her race and/or in retaliation for her complaints of racial discrimination,” the suit states.

During the week of Aug. 26, the suit claims, management, in a hostile manner, told Scretching that it was known she had made complaints of discrimination to corporate management. It was around that same time that Scretching was terminated from her job for “untrue reasons,” although the suit doesn’t state what the company allegedly told Scretching she was being fired for.

The lawsuit contains counts of race discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Scretching seeks to have a court order barring the defendant from continuing its policy, practice or custom of discriminating and retaliating against employees. Scretching also seeks lost and future earnings and benefits, unspecified punitive damages, litigation costs and other relief.

A jury trial is being demanded.

The federal case number is 2:11-cv-07076.

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