A Berks County citizen is suing a Pennsylvania battery manufacturing business, alleging disability discrimination in his 2014 job loss.

James Kozlowski of Blandon sued East Penn Manufacturing Co. Inc., of Lyon Station in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Sept. 28, claiming infringements of the Americans with Disabilities Act in November 2014 when he was dismissed from his position of 19 years with the company.

According to the complaint, the 46-year-old plaintiff suffered from health ailments that at times limited his life activities, including degenerative disk disease, a back condition requiring ongoing medication and treatment. The suit states that Kozlowski was both available for, and physically and mentally capable of, performing his job.

When a November 2014 drug screening allegedly revealed the presence of opiates in his system, the plaintiff avers that he provided a prescription from his physician to management; but was given written warnings nevertheless. Kozlowski maintains his employer's policies state that failing a drug test per se does not warrant termination; moreover, he claims, other staffers had failed screenings previously without being fired.

The suit states that Kozlowski was discharged because of his disabilities in violation of the ADA; the act as amended, referred to as Actual/Perceived/Record of Disability Discrimination; and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Claiming emotional distress, Kozlowski requests restitution for back and front pay, benefits, and insurance; reinstatement, and/or seniority. The plaintiff seeks punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fees, and court costs. He is represented by Ari Karpf of Karpf, Karpf & Cerutti in Bensalem.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 5:15-cv-05326-LS

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