Former World Cafe Live! line cook sues for unlawful termination

By Jon Campisi | Jan 4, 2013

A line cook fired from a Philadelphia entertainment venue is suing his former employer

over claims that his discharge violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Brian Kepcsynski, who resides in Croydon, Bucks County, claims in his civil action that Real Entertainment – Phila. Inc., which does business as the nightclub World Café Live!, terminated his employment after a mere year and two months because of his diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

According to the complaint, which was filed Jan. 3 at the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Kepcsynski, who began his employment with the business on Nov. 11, 2009, was terminated on Jan. 17, 2011, soon after the plaintiff requested reasonable accommodations due to his disorder, such as time off for hospitalization and so that he may “better control his condition.”

Bipolar disorder can have the ability to  “substantially” limit a person’s brain function, the suit states.

The company never requested medical certification or clarification of the plaintiff’s diagnosis, the lawsuit claims, although Kepcsynski was “willing and able” to provide such information.

Nevertheless, after the plaintiff advised his supervisors of his diagnosis, he was unlawfully terminated from his position in the venue’s kitchen, according to the federal action.

Kepcsynski, who remains under the care of a physician, soon filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was cross-filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

He received a right-to-sue notice on Oct. 9, 2012, the record shows.

“Defendants and their agents by their discrimination have caused Plaintiff lost pay and benefits, physical injury, mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit, which says that the unlawful practices were “intentional” on the part of the defendant and its management, accuses World Café Live of violating both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

The plaintiff seeks to have a judge order the defendant to stop discriminating against employees in the workplace.

Kepcsynski also seeks unspecified compensatory damages, as well as damages for lost wages and fringe benefits, front pay, back pay, future benefits and loss of earning capacity, damages for emotional and physical distress and damage to reputation, and attorney’s fees, interest and litigation costs.

The plaintiff is being represented by attorney Mark D. Laderman, of the Trenton, N.J. firm Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson.

The federal case number is 2:13-cv-00025-RB. 

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