A Pennsylvania man is suing his employer, a manufacturing company, on charges of disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws, in his job termination.

Donald P. Cougle of Emerald sued Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors of Pottsville in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Sept. 28, claiming unlawful disability bias when he lost his job in August 2014.

According to the complaint, Cougle was hired as a package line operator and employed by the defendant from approximately July 8, 2013, until his termination on or about Aug. 1, 2014.

The suit states that the plaintiff was injured at his job, which involved physical labor, on or about July 29, 2014, and was terminated on or about Aug. 1, 2014, on the pretextual reason of accrued “points” for being absent from work. Cougle, however, asserts that his time off was for documented medical reasons; that he never received any warnings; and that the company refused to file workers' compensation paperwork for him, instead firing him when he reported that he might have sustained a herniated disc.

Alleging violation of the ADA and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, interference with Family and Medical Leave Act regulations, and wrongful discharge, the plaintiff argues that the defendant cannot justify its actions with any legitimate reason; that the company knowingly discriminated against him and retaliated against him for requesting FMLA leave.

The plaintiff seeks injunctive action prohibiting further discrimination and/or retaliation, monetary damages for pay and benefits, actual and punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Wayne Ely and W. Charles Sipio of Kolman Ely in Penndel.

U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania 3:15-cv-01866-JMM

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