Crane Operator Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Employer Who Denied Him Disability Accommodations
In employment law, retaliation is when an employer takes an adverse action against an employee in response to the employee engaging in a protected activity. Examples of adverse actions include denying the employee a promotion or raise, subjecting the employee to undue scrutiny at work, an involuntary transfer of duties, work location, or work hours, and termination of employment, among others. Examples of protected activities include filing a workers’ compensation claim, requesting an accommodation for a disability, complaining to human resources or the EEOC about discrimination, reporting misconduct by the employer to law enforcement or a regulatory body, and cooperating with investigations into alleged misconduct at your place of employment. If your employer retaliated against you for engaging in a protected activity, a Los Angeles discrimination and harassment lawyer can help you show a causal relationship between the adverse action and the protected activity.
Employer Allegedly Retaliated Against Employee Who Engaged in Protected Activities
According to a complaint filed in L.A. County Superior Court, a plaintiff worked as a crane operator at a port in California. By objective measures, he was very efficient at his job; he was able to move more than 30 percent more containers during a four-hour shift than the company average. Crane operators typically work with the same partner at every shift. The plaintiff in this case is Black, and the complaint did not specify the race of his longtime partner; the trouble began when two new supervisors were hired in a position where they directly supervised the crane operators. These new supervisors gave preference to White crane operators, and the plaintiff complained to his direct supervisors that he was not receiving enough shifts. They told him that dispatch was responsible for assigning shifts, and when the plaintiff contacted dispatch about the matter, they told him that the decision-makers were his direct supervisors.
Things got worse when the plaintiff’s partner was reassigned to be the partner of a White crane operator whose partner had been fired; the plaintiff was never reassigned a new permanent partner and worked with different partners at almost every shift, making his work much more difficult. The biggest problem, however, happened in 2020, when the plaintiff asked to be moved from a hammerhead crane from a yard crane; working with a hammerhead crane had caused him to suffer neck injuries that required surgery in 2016, and by 2020, his neck pain was getting bad again. The employer refused to make this accommodation, even after the plaintiff brought two doctors’ notes. Instead, the employer suspended him from his duties; it disallowed him from working at all. The plaintiff then filed a discrimination lawsuit, alleging employer retaliation. In the complaint, he mentioned three White coworkers who had been moved from hammerhead cranes to yard cranes when they requested this, and that he was treated differently because he is African American or black.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Discrimination Lawyer
A Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer can help you if your employer terminated your employment or otherwise retaliated against you after you requested accommodations for a documented disability. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.