U-Haul faces discriminatory firing complaint by former manager of Phila. facility

By Jon Campisi | Dec 21, 2012

An African-American Philadelphia man claims in a newly filed lawsuit that he was let go from his job with U-Haul after three years because of discriminatory factors.

Anthony Briggs claims in his civil action, which was filed at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Dec. 17 by Penndel, Pa. attorneys Timothy M. Kolman and Wayne A. Ely, that he was fired from his position with the company early last year on the basis of his race and gender, even though the defendant alleged the termination was being done because the plaintiff’s position was no longer available.

The complaint states that Briggs worked for U-Haul at its Chestnut Street facility in Center City, Philadelphia from February 2008 until May 9, 2011, at which time he was summarily demoted as manager at that location and transferred to a location in South Philadelphia as a lower-ranking assistant manager.

The alleged performance reasons that were cited by the company as the basis for the plaintiff’s transfer were false, the lawsuit states.

Briggs’ then-supervisor, identified in the lawsuit as Brenda Cox, who is a white female, told Briggs that she was transferring him because he had a problem with his son with regard to custody and support issues, the complaint alleges.

The suit does not elaborate on this claim.

The lawsuit does state, however, that one week prior to the conversation between the plaintiff and his supervisor, the plaintiff had suffered a serious infection that required treatment.

After Briggs reported to the South Philadelphia location to start his new position, the suit states, he was informed that his pay had been reduced by more than $2 per hour.

Briggs soon requested that his previous salary be restored; it was at this time that he was fired from his job, with personnel telling him there was no longer a position for him at the new facility, according to the complaint.

Meanwhile, Briggs learned his previous position at the downtown Philadelphia location was taken by a white employee.

Briggs also claims that during his employment, he was compensated less than managers who were not African-American.

The lawsuit accuses U-Haul of racial and gender discrimination, and asserts that Briggs’ civil rights were violated as a result of the defendant’s discriminatory actions.

The suit also accuses U-Haul of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Briggs seeks to have the defendant be permanently enjoined from engaging in discriminatory behavior against employees.

The plaintiff also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses, and additional injunctive relief.


The federal case number is 2:12-cv-07028-PBT. 

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