Former Chi employee claims discrimination in lawsuit | State

PHILADELPHIA >> A former Chichester School District facility director has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the district and its board of directors seeking claims of discrimination and retaliation based on race and disability.

Paul Tobin of Brookhaven claims claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, according to the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District earlier this month have from Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit names the district, its board of directors, Superintendent Daniel Nerelli, assistant to superintendent for human resources Fred Serino, company administrator Anthony Testa, president of the Chichester Administrators Association James Stewart and director of facilities Michael Civera.

“The school district does not believe there has been any unlawful discrimination or retaliation and will vigorously defend the lawsuit,” said Michael Levin, attorney who represents the defendants.

Tobin, who has served as the head of the Chichester School District’s facilities since 2016, claims he worked hard and received praise for his work until he suffered an “extreme flare-up” of bipolar disorder in February 2019.

Tobin, represented by Philadelphia attorney Erica A. Shikunov, said goodbye to handle the flare, and Civera stepped in as interim facilities director, depending on the lawsuit. When Tobin returned to work in November 2019, he said he had been appointed “manager” and Civera had officially assumed the title of director.

Tobin is said to have learned in February 2020 that Civera bragged about going to the HR office after hours and accessing Tobin’s medical record without permission.

Later that month, the complaint alleged that Civera told a joke with a punch line that contained the word “n —-” and that Civera used that word consistently to refer to black people.

Tobin said he found out about Civera’s alleged remarks and alleged improper access to Tobin’s records on Nerelli and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Gregory Puckett complained. Tobin said he learned in June 2020 that Civera had been “disciplined”. After Tobin complained again about Civera’s alleged behavior the following month, he claims that Civera misrepresented him for insubordination. Tobin says he appealed the letter but received no response.

The complaint states that Civera informed Tobin in August that he would be permanently transferred from monitoring the day shift to the evening shift. Tobin passed a doctor’s letter to Serino, indicating that such a postponement would interfere with the treatment of his disability and affect Tobin’s mental health, hormonal balance with his medication, and sleep hygiene.

Tobin says Serino accused him of disobedience and later refused accommodation to stay on the day shift. The complaint alleges that this transfer was retaliation and the reasons for it were never explained.

The complaint suggests that Serino threatened to discipline Tobin for using his paid time off to leave the night shift early and disciplining him with another employee in October for allegedly missing a closet in August properly attached to a wall.

Serino finally put Tobin on paid administrative leave in November for allegedly failing to return his FMLA records, not informing the defendants whether he could work evening shifts in their entirety, forged daily logs and reports on job completion, and allegedly called Civera on. Mussolini ”, it says in the complaint.

“The plaintiff made an effort to finalize the documents, but was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and switching between medical practices,” the complaint said. In addition, the other allegations made by the defendants are categorically false and were fabricated to characterize the plaintiff as an improper employee. Despite the defendant’s knowledge of the plaintiff’s disability and the need for shelter in the form of a return to the day shift, the defendants continue to refuse to accept the plaintiff’s doctor’s letter and return him to the day shift. “

Tobin says he was constructively dismissed from his position through unlawful discrimination and retaliation after reporting on Civera’s alleged behavior and suffered a number of financial and emotional injuries, including permanent mental harm.

He has requested legal proceedings and is applying for criminal, liquidation and statutory claims for damages as well as legal fees and other relief that the court deems appropriate.

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