|[September 10, 2012]
Former Kroger Employee Files Lawsuit with Claims of Disability Discrimination, Harassment
PLANO, Texas --(Business Wire)--
A former employee of Cincinnati-based grocery chain The Kroger Co.
(NYSE: KR) has filed a discrimination and harassment lawsuit in federal
court based on claims Kroger fired him because of his mental and
physical disabilities, and despite his multiple commendations and a
successful work history.
Plano resident Karl Tipple, 24, filed the suit on September 5 in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Plano, case
number 4:12-CV-00573, after receiving Right to Sue Letters from the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission.
The lawsuit alleges that the manager of Kroger Store 581, located in the
2900 block of Custer Road in Plano, repeatedly harassed Mr. Tipple for
more than a year, including referring to Mr. Tipple on numerous
occasions as a "f------ retarded idiot" who was "too stupid to live."
Mr. Tipple, who began working at another Kroger location more than six
years ago, suffers from an attention-deficit disorder and partial
deafness, and has an IQ that allows him to read and write on a
third-grade level. He was transferred to Kroger's Custer Road location
in November 2010 as an Assistant Bakery Manager, but was quickly demoted
to a checker and baggerposition and was forced to file multiple
grievances to gain full-time employment from his supervisors.
"This is clearly a case where a high-functioning person with special
needs has been victimized by the prejudices and bias of his manager, all
supported by other Kroger officials," says attorney Matthew
Scott of the Kendall
Law Group in Dallas, who represents Mr. Tipple. "Karl has a
longstanding record as an exemplary Kroger employee, but that didn't
seem to matter when he moved to the new store. After his transfer, Karl
faced a series of attempts to bully and scare him into quitting."
According to the lawsuit, the store manager frequently yelled at Mr.
Tipple on the sales floor, forced him to work alone on certain tasks,
brought unsubstantiated allegations against him from other employees,
and ultimately filed a false customer complaint that was later
withdrawn. In addition, the manager confiscated Mr. Tipple's personal
cell phone, apparently believing that the phone was being used to
document violations of corporate and union policies by the manager and
other employees. Until his firing in December 2011, Mr. Tipple served as
the youngest elected Steward of the United Food and Commercial Workers
Union in Kroger's history.
The Kendall Law Group is a trial firm that represents individuals in
employment discrimination and securities fraud lawsuits against
companies. Visit the firm's website at http://www.kendalllawgroup.com.
For more information on the Tipple v. Kroger case,
please contact Barry Pound at 800-559-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ Back To TMCnet.com's Homepage ]