A former senior software engineer with Lockheed Martin Corp. has sued
the global company, which manufacturers advanced weapons and technology systems, over allegations that he was forced to resign in retaliation for complaining about work assignments he says he was given in spite following medical leave.
Daniel Marth claims in his civil action that his career with the defendant, which began in 2008, ended with his forced resignation in late 2011.
The plaintiff, who resides in North Carolina, and was diagnosed with anxiety and insomnia back in 1999, suffered from a serious anxiety attack in the fall of 2011 that worsened his medical conditions, the complaint states.
Soon after the attack, Marth’s doctor instructed his patient to take a two-week medical leave of absence, which the plaintiff did from Nov. 10 to Nov. 28, 2011.
The leave, the plaintiff claims, was protected by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
Marth was eventually declared fit to return to work, provided he work no more than 40 hours per week, the lawsuit states.
Lockheed Martin, however, saw fit to throw Marth back into a full workload, the suit says, one that required the man to work in excess of 40 hours.
After Marth complained that the assignment would go against his physician’s orders, the company gave the plaintiff a negative performance review, which led to Marth being removed from his telecommuting position – he had worked from home since January 2010 – and into a full-time position at the defendant’s location in Newtown, Pa.
The order came despite the fact that the defendant was aware Marth lived more than 80 miles away from the Bucks County office.
The complaint goes on to say that telecommuting employees who receive a negative job performance review are often provided with a 90-day performance improvement plan before their position is changed from a telecommuting to a full-time, in-house position.
Marth, however, was never given such an offer.
Marth soon complained that the negative performance review was clearly done in retaliation for the plaintiff asserting that the position switch went against doctor’s orders, the record shows.
He also reminded the defendant that he would not be able to commute to the Newtown, Pa. office full-time given his far proximity from the location.
The defendant, however, was unmoved, and refused to rescind what the suit calls its “unilateral decision, made without warning, to change Plaintiff’s position from a telecommuting position to a full time position in Defendant’s office.”
Marth claims he was then forced to resign his employment.
Lockheed Martin is accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
The complaint seeks to have a judge enjoin Lockheed Martin from continuing to maintain its illegal policy of discriminating against employees based on their disabilities.
Marth also seeks lost pay and benefits, punitive damages, damages for emotional distress, costs and legal fees.
The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 11 at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia by attorneys Manali Arora and Richard Swartz, of the Cherry Hill, N.J. law firm of Swartz Swidler.
The federal case number is 2:13-cv-05984-MMB.