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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Man accuses Pennsylvania business of age discrimination

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania business has been accused of engaging in discrimination against an older employee in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

According to a complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Todd Piatt began working for O’Neal Metals Pennsylvania, LLC in January 1994, and eventually was promoted to the position of Operations Supervisor. Beginning in April 2017, according to the filing, co-workers of Mr. Piatt began making jokes about his age. He alleged that his supervisor, Tim Daining, referred to him as “old” in a derogatory manner several times in front of other employees. His co-workers also engaged in the name calling without reprimand, according to the complaint.

The harassment continued, according to the filing, and, at one point, a note was left on Mr. Piatt’s office door which read: “Senior operations supervisor as in old.” Additionally, a co-worker told Mr. Piatt that Mr. Daining was teaching him to hate him, according to the complaint.

Mr. Piatt alleged that, in January 2019, he was placed on a thirty-day performance improvement plan by Mr. Daining. According to the complaint, Mr. Piatt believed that the plan was motivated by his age and not his performance. As a result, he sent an email to members of the Human Resources Department and formally notified the company that he was being harassed and discriminated against on the basis of his age, according to the filing. Mr. Piatt alleged that no formal investigation took place regarding his accusation. Additionally, the discrimination continued, as Mr. Daining repeatedly referred to Mr. Piatt as the “old man” in front of other employees, according to the complaint.

Less than thirty days after the initiation of his performance plan, on February 9, 2019, Mr. Piatt was allegedly terminated. According to the report, the company cited a “safety incident” as justification for his termination. Mr. Piatt alleged that he followed the safety protocol by informing his co-workers of the issue and assisting in a mitigation plan. Lead Attorney Sean Ruppert alleged in the filing that the stated reason for Mr. Piatt’s termination was merely pretext for age discrimination.

The two-count complaint charges that O’Neal Metals engaged in discrimination and retaliation against Mr. Piatt in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Mr. Piatt filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue. The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Ruppert on January 24, 2020.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Mr. Piatt against O’Neal Metals, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.


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