MORGANTOWN – A Monongalia County man is suing over claims he and black coworkers were phased out of his job due to their race.
Charlie Thomas Heard filed a lawsuit Dec. 1 in Monongalia Circuit Court against Omnicare Inc., Act Fast Delivery Inc., and Act Fast Delivery of West Virginia, citing racial discrimination.
According to the complaint, on March 2013, Heard began working for Act Fast Delivery, delivering medical and pharmaceutical supplies from Omnicare Inc.'s Morgantown shipping facility to medical facilities and nursing homes along U.S. 8 in Maryland and West Virginia.
Heard says he was working with another driver, O'Dell Tucker, when they noticed packages on the shipping manifests for their route had not been given to them at the Morgantown facility, which was a normal occurrence, and required them to inform the staff at the medical facilities in question of the mistake, which sometimes resulted in staff becoming angry with them.
The lawsuit states that in April 2013, the defendants informed Heard that he could not longer work his usual route because they allegedly "do not like blacks" delivering on that route.
Heard says the company did not appear to investigate the missing packages and he heard from other employees that "blacks" were not going to be assigned to higher paying routes shortly before he was moved to lesser paying routes, which often end up costing the driver approximately the same amount he is paid.
According to the lawsuit, around this time, an Omnicare employee, in a meeting with Act Fast management, accused Heard and other African-American employees of stealing narcotics, even saying they had a higher propensity to steal narcotics due to their race.
Shortly thereafter, the lawsuit states, the lead driver responsible for scheduling was told to either fail to call Heard for deliveries or only call him for unprofitable routes, which the driver refused to do and resigned her position.
Heard says he drove his last route for the defendants in fall 2013 due to being unable to support himself under the unlawful working conditions. The defendants are accused of wrongful termination/racial discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Heard seeks damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.
He is represented by attorneys Mark Edward Gaydos, Sam H. Harold III and Buddy Turner in Clarksburg and McNeer, Highland, McMunn and Varner in Clarksburg.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 14-C-871