Man alleges he was fired due to his disabilities

By Kasey Schefflin-Emrich | Jul 9, 2015

U.S. District Court in Harrisburg  

HARRISBURG - A worker has brought allegations against a Scottsdale-based contractor for allegedly unlawful employment practices in 2013.

Norman Koontz of Royersford filed a lawsuit June 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Penn Line Corp., alleging wrongful termination due to violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Koontz began working for the defendant as a tree climber in February 2013. The suit states that before becoming employed he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder - both considered disabilities under ADA, ADAA and PHRA - and was required to take prescription medications.

The filing states that Koontz was required to take and pass a drug screening urinalysis test before becoming hired by the defendant. Koontz, who registered a false positive on the test, informed the defendant that he suffered from disabilities and provided copies of his prescriptions, he claims.

While he was hired and performed his job in a dutiful and satisfactory manner, the civil action says Koontz was required to submit to a random urinalysis screening in September of that year. Despite telling the defendant's physician that he had take medication to manage his disabilities and re-submitting copies his prescriptions, the suit states Koontz was terminated that October for failing the drug test.

Koontz alleges the defendant's willful and unlawful actions caused him emotional distress, humiliation, decreased self-esteem, loss of earnings and future earning power.

Koontz seeks lost wages and benefits; compensatory and punitive damages; and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. He is being represented by attorney Kevin Lovitz of The Lovitz Law Firm in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania case number 3:15-cv-01238-UN3.

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