Fired Catholic school janitor sues Archdiocese of Phila., others for wrongful termination

By Jon Campisi | Mar 25, 2014

A man who worked as a janitor for a Philadelphia Catholic school claims in

a newly filed lawsuit that he was fired from his job of 13 years in retaliation for pursing leave due to a work-related injury.

In his lawsuit, Mario Andreoli also says he was not properly compensated for overtime work.

Andreoli, who began working at St. Gabriel School, which is located in Wayne, Pa., back in 2000, is suing the school, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which previously operated the school, and the school’s current owner, Philadelphia Independent Mission, which does business as Independence Mission Schools.

The plaintiff says while he was regularly scheduled to work 40 hours per week, he often undertook additional duties before and/or after his regularly scheduled work hours, including snow removal, opening and locking the school building, and providence cleanup assistance when unexpected events arose.

He claims he never received any compensation for working the additional hours.

In October 2013, Andreoli notified his employer of a work-related injury and his desire to pursue his rights and benefits under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, according to the complaint.

After the plaintiff made the defendants aware of his injury, the nature of which is not specified in the litigation, the school took the steps to find a prospective employee to replace the plaintiff, the suit states.

Then, in early December of last year, Andreoli’s supervisor, school principal Noreen Friel, called the plaintiff into her office and informed him his employment was being terminated.

Friel is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which was originally filed in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court.

Andreoli claims he was even required to assist in the training of the man who was eventually hired to replace him as janitor.

The suit accuses the defendants of violating the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plaintiff seeks unpaid wages and overtime, liquidated damages, costs and attorney’s fees.

He is being represented by Philadelphia attorney Mark A. DiAntonio of the firm McCann & Geschke.

On March 21, attorneys Nicholas M. Centrella, Frank R. Emmerich, Jr., and Jacquelyn J. Ager, of the Philadelphia firm Conrad O’Brien, filed a removal notice at the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking to transfer the litigation out of state court.

In their petition, the defense attorneys, who represent the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, wrote that the matter belongs in federal court because the plaintiff is asserting violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal statute.


The state case ID number is 140201843 and the federal case number is 2:14-cv-01713-TJS.

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