PLCB accused of 'reverse' discrimination in suit filed by longtime maintenance worker

By Jon Campisi | Mar 11, 2013

A longtime employee of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has filed a federal civil rights complaint against the agency over claims that he was discriminated against on the basis of race.

Edward Bristow, who resides in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood, claims in a newly filed civil action that he was denied a promotion because he is white.

The plaintiff asserts that the liquor board engaged in a case of reverse discrimination when it turned him down for the position of maintenance foreman despite the fact that he was more qualified than others who put in for the same promotion.

Bristow, who was first hired by the defendant in the fall of 1986, claims that the maintenance foreman job, which he applied for in 2006, was eventually given to a black male who was less qualified for the job than the plaintiff.

The complaint further alleges that another white male was also passed over for the same foreman position because of his race.

Bristow again applied for the same supervisory position five years later, in 2011, and again he was turned down.

This time, the foreman position was given to a Puerto Rican male who was less qualified for the position than the plaintiff, the suit states.

The defendants conduct constituted so-called “reverse discrimination,” the complaint states, and it also constituted a “clear pattern and practice of reverse discrimination.”

At all times, the suit reads, the plaintiff had more seniority over all other employees vying for the position of maintenance foreman, including his own supervisor.

The lawsuit accuses the liquor board of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Bristow seeks to have the defendant permanently enjoined from discriminating or retaliating against employees on the basis of race.

The plaintiff also seeks any and all pay and benefits he would have received “had it not been for [the defendant’s] illegal actions, including back pay, front pay, salary, pay increases, bonuses, insurance, benefits, training, promotions, reinstatement and seniority.

Bristow also seeks damages relating to pain, suffering and humiliation, as well as unspecified punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fees and costs.

Bristow is being represented by Penndel, Pa. attorneys Timothy M. Kolman, Wayne E. Ely and W. Charles Sipio, of the firm Kolman Ely P.C.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-01247-MAM.

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