A former sales representative for a medical equipment company has filed a
civil action against the business over allegations that he was improperly fired from his job.
Ernesto Watters, who resides in Coatesville, Pa., filed a complaint Oct. 8 at federal court in Philadelphia against Chester County-based Animas Diabetes Care LLC challenging his Feb. 25, 2011 termination.
The plaintiff, who is a black man over the age of 40, claims the defendant discriminated against him when it fired him reportedly for committing fraud.
Watters, who worked in a position titled Consumable Sales Representative, also known as inside sales worker, having first been hired for the job in the fall of 2001, was suspended in late December 2010 pending an investigation into allegations that the plaintiff had too many “automatic shipments” under his belt.
It was Watters’ job to take customer orders over the phone, during which workers such as the plaintiff were required to ask customers if they would like automatic shipment refills of their purchases.
By November 2010, the suit states, Watters had amassed enough “yes” responses for automatic shipment refills to receive a bonus under the company’s commission program.
The investigation allegedly uncovered that Watters must have engaged in “disqualifying conduct,” or misconduct, under the defendant’s Performance and Conduct Standards Policy, given the number of “yes” responses for automatic shipments, according to the complaint.
In his suit, Watters contends that white sales workers performing the same job as the plaintiff were never suspended or investigated when their automatic shipments qualified them for sales bonuses.
“Defendant Animas did not find any misconduct, instead concluded that the high volume of automatic shipments suggested fraud because the other Inside Sales Workers did not obtain the same high level of automatic shipments,” the lawsuit reads.
The defendant, a supplier of medical equipment and devices including insulin pumps, stands accused of violating the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
The suit contains counts of race and age discrimination.
The record shows that Watters had previously filed an administrative complaint with both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.
Watters seeks more than $150,000 in compensatory damages, including lost wages and benefits, in addition to unspecified punitive damages, counsel fees, costs, and other legal relief.
The plaintiff is being represented by Swarthmore, Pa. attorney Patrick Flanigan.
The federal case number is 2:13-cv-05908-CMR.