PITTSBURGH — A former consultant for Autotrader.com Inc. is suing the company for her alleged wrongful termination and discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Serena Richter filed a lawsuit on March 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Autotrader.com Inc., citing violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law.
According to the complaint, Richter began working for the defendant on July 9, 2007, as an advertising consultant. On June 16, 2011, the plaintiff reportedly sustained severe injuries as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident and was on short-term disability leave until the middle of October 2011. During and after the FMLA leave, the plaintiff claims, her manager repeatedly questioned her about her injuries and formally criticized her performance.
On June 14, 2013, the plaintiff claims, false charges of homicide by vehicle and DUI were filed against her by the District Attorney of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Later that year, Richter requested and was approved for FMLA leave for her aforementioned injuries. On March 27, 2014, upon expiration of the leave, the plaintiff was terminated for the criminal charges and her alleged failure to report them, the suit claims, further asserting that she had reported the charges. She was acquitted of the charges on Jan. 8, 2015, and claims she was wrongfully terminated on the grounds of retaliation and failure to accommodate her disabilities.
Richter seeks damages for all lost pay and benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, reinstatement to her position with the defendant, liquidated damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and a trial by jury. She is represented by David B. Spear and Nick Kennedy of the Minto Law Group LLC, in Pittsburgh.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Case number 2:16-cv-00349-RCM