Vecellio and Grogan Inc. accused of retaliatory termination after employee reported unsafe working conditions

By Carrie Bradon | Apr 10, 2019

BECKLEY — A man is suing his employer, alleging that he was terminated after raising concerns about safety and needing medical leave.

Brian J. Fanary filed a complaint in Raleigh Circuit Court against Vecellio and Grogan Inc. and Jim Bower.

The suit states the plaintiff applied for employment at the defendant's in February 2018 and was interviewed for a position. The plaintiff was offered employment on Feb. 26, 2018 and began his employment on March 3, 2018. The plaintiff was assigned to the location at Interstate 26 in Polk County. 

The plaintiff reports that he observed some unsafe practices at work that placed the plaintiff in risk and violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Act. The plaintiff allegedly was told not to mention the dangerous situations but decided to mention them at a meeting in mid March 2018. The plaintiff reported his concerns and was told by the defendant that he had a "bad attitude." The defendant also created excuses for the dangerous situations and made no move to remedy the situations. 

The plaintiff alleges he began to suffer from chest pains and sought medical treatment. The plaintiff was seen by a family physician on April 7, 2018, but feared taking time off because he feared he may be terminated if he did. The plaintiff was told to take his health seriously and not worry about his job. The plaintiff was called by his employer and told that it was likely unsafe for him to drive his company truck, despite the fact that no doctor had said this. The plaintiff saw his doctor on April 7, 2018 and spoke with an HR representative about his medical situation. He was told that he had not worked long enough to take time off under FMLA but that the company would give him some time to get his medical concerns in order, until April 20, 2018. The plaintiff was treated again on April 14, 2018 and was released for work. 

The plaintiff traveled to his West Virginia office to provide his release for work on April 16, 2018. The plaintiff was told that he was being terminated at this time because he was not "a good fit for the job."

The defendant is accused of disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge,

The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs and trial by jury. The plaintiff is represented by Michael Addair of Bailess Smith PLLC in Charleston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Charles Vickers

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 19-C-84

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Bailess Smith PLLC Raleigh Circuit Court

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