Para-transit driver sues SEPTA for alleged discrimination, retaliation

By Bree Gonzales | Jan 18, 2019

PHILADELPHIA — A para-transit driver is suing Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Eden's Transit LLC and Total Transit Corp., transport companies, citing alleged discrimination and retaliation.

Latisha Battle filed a complaint on Jan. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the defendants, alleging they terminated her due to her disability and for exercising her right to protected leave.

According to the complaint, Battle alleges that in February 2017 she informed defendants she was suffering from severe migraines. After being diagnosed with her serious health condition she filed for FMLA leave and was granted intermittent FMLA leave, the suit says. However, she claims defendants became aggravated every time she uses her approved leave. 

On Sept. 14, 2017, while on a route she requested to return to base due to a severe migraine, the suit says. She was asked to fill out a form but she couldn't due to the severity of her condition and directly went home, the suit says. Days later, she inquired about her schedule which she wasn't immediately given and subsequently was terminated, allegedly due to poor performance, the suit says.

Throughout the course of her employment, Battle has received positive performance reviews, occasional praises, and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for Safety in 2017, the suit says. The plaintiff holds Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, et al, responsible because the defendants allegedly "failed to engage in the interactive process to determine whether there was a reasonable accommodation available which would have permitted the plaintiff to perform the essential functions of her job," the suit says.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks back wages, front pay and bonuses in an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $150,000, liquidated damages, plus costs, disbursements, and attorney's fees. Additionally, pre-judgment interest and other relief the court may find appropriate. She is represented by Michael Murphy of Murphay Law Group LLC in Philadelphia.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case No. is 2:19-cv-00053-HB.

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Murphy Law Group LLC U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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