West Virginia Record

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Former employee says Gestamp wrongfully fired him due to his disability

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 14, 2020

Discrimination 14

CHARLESTON — A man is suing Gestamp West Virginia LLC alleging it discriminated against him when he needed to be off work due to a medical procedure.

Kasey R. Roberts was employed by Gestamp for about four years in its production division and on June 27, he went to the emergency department where he was admitted for an emergency appendectomy, according to a complaint filed in Kanawha Circuit Court before it was removed to federal court.

Roberts claims he suffered from an infection because of the surgery and was not released to return to work until Aug. 12, but as soon as he was released he went to Gestamp immediately.

Roberts was on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act between June 27 and Aug. 12 and, on Aug. 16, Roberts had to leave work early due to extreme pain in the area of his infection and went to the emergency department, according to the suit.

Roberts claims he got a work excuse while he was in the emergency department and, due to extreme pain, did no go the work the following Monday. On Aug. 20, he took a vacation day to see his physician, who then admitted him to the hospital. 

The plaintiff advised his supervisor that he was being admitted and was taken off the work schedule until Sept. 3, according to the suit.

Roberts claims when he returned to work on Sept. 3 with work excuses leading up until Sept. 3, he learned that he had been fired at some point prior due to job abandonment.

Gestamp fired Roberts due to his disability in violation of the West Virginia Human Rights Act and failed to provide him reasonable accommodation, according to the suit.

Roberts is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is represented by Richard W. Walters and Carl W. Shaffer of Shaffer & Shaffer.

Gestamp filed a notice of removal in the case, alleging that because Roberts cited the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law, the case belongs in federal court.

Gestamp is represented by Raj A. Shah of Hendrickson & Long in Charleston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:19-cv-00854

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