PHILADELPHIA – A former FedEx clerk believes he was in a hostile work environment, which led to his termination, due to reporting a workplace violation to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
David Spencer and Donna Spencer filed a lawsuit on Nov. 25 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Genco Distribution System Inc. and FedEx Corp. alleging wrongful termination, retaliation, employment discrimination, and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
According to the complaint, David Spencer, who has carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis, was employed as a workflow clerk with an accommodation of being restricted to light desk work. This was known, according to the lawsuit, by FedEx. On July 2012, he filed a complaint with the OSHA, according to the lawsuit, when FedEx wanted to take away his chair, forcing him to stand up for the entirety of his shift.
OSHA informed FedEx the chair had to stay and Spencer believes that in retaliation FedEx management said he would be no longer working as a workflow clerk. Instead, he was demoted to an entry-level job in which he would be required to perform physical labor, the complaint states.
Around August 2012, Spencer, claiming that he was being threatened in retaliation for reporting a workplace health and safety violation, filed a whistle-blower protection claim with OSHA. At this time, according to the lawsuit, FedEx disavowed their stance on demoting Spencer.
Around 2013, Spencer was placed in training for a new dedicated receiver position and while in training suffered a wrist injury. According to the lawsuit, a doctor said he was not physically fit to do the new job and demanded that FedEx put him back on his old job. On Nov. 11, 2013, he was placed on Family Medical Leave. On or around Nov. 15. 2013, according to the lawsuit, FedEx sent Spencer a letter stating that the leave was per his request. In fact, he claims, the reverse was true. He has never been taken off administrative leave.
David Spencer, who is seeking law wage and benefits, and Donna Spencer are represented by Michael B. Weisberg and David Michelson of Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:15-cv-06309