Safelite Group Denies Former Tech’s Allegations of Wrongful Termination Under Americans with Disabilities Act

The attorneys for Safelite Group deny the company did anything wrong in its dealings with a former technician trainee with Safelite AutoGlass in Charlotte, N.C., who alleges he was wrongfully terminated under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Mathew Howcroft, who has only a thumb and pinkie on his left hand, filed a complaint against the company in the U.S. District Court of North Carolina, Statesville division.

“Defendants admit that plaintiff was employed on May 6, 2013, as a technician trainee, but deny the remaining allegations … Further answering, defendants state the plaintiff was employed by Safelite Fulfillment,” Safelite’s attorneys write in court documents.

“Defendants admit that plaintiff is missing part of his fingers … Defendants admit that plaintiff told Frank Puvak that the gloves were too big because he was missing part of his fingers. Further answering, defendants admit that plaintiff told Brandon Thompson that he had a hard time feeling things while wearing the gloves because he was missing part of his fingers,” the attorneys claim.

The defendants also “admit that smaller gloves were ordered” but claim they do not know any more than that.

“Defendants respectfully request that the claims against them in the complaint be dismissed in their entirety with prejudice, that judgment be entered in their favor and that they recover their costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and such other and further relief as this court deems just and appropriate,” Safelite’s attorneys conclude.

Despite the disability, Howcraft claims he was able to perform all the “essential functions of his job with reasonable accommodations.”

“On Tuesday, June 4, 2013, Puvak told plaintiff at approximately noon that the plaintiff had passed his certification test with flying colors. … On Wednesday, June 5, 2013, plaintiff was changing out a windshield on a customer’s vehicle and while plaintiff was ‘running’ urethane with his left hand, some glue inadvertently touched the vehicle’s paint, which plaintiff was able to remove,” Howcraft’s attorneys claim.

On June 6, 2013, Howcraft claims his supervisors said he “was not a good fit for the job and terminated plaintiff’s employment.”

The judge has not issued any new decisions at press time.

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3 Responses to Safelite Group Denies Former Tech’s Allegations of Wrongful Termination Under Americans with Disabilities Act

  1. Janet says:

    I have been in the auto glass business for over 27 years and find the statement about being terminated for getting a little urethane on the paint is insanity. Isn’t that why we all have scrubs in a bucket etc. Even the most experienced installer has this happen from time to time. If we all fired our installers for this reason none of would have any installers.

  2. Mario Ercolini says:

    I work for an auto glass wholesaler and I applaud this young mans courage to fight for his
    Right to work. And if he contacts me, I am sure I can find him a job with one of our customers.
    If the facts are as stated, Safelite should be ashamed. Mario 864-313-4236

  3. John Doe says:

    I’ve been employed at Safelite for six years. Let’s just say that Safelite and the ADA have never seen eye-to-eye, whether it’s in the manufacturing plant, out in the field or in the corporate offices. The corporate philosophy is always taking all things to the limit, no matter what aspect of the business is involved, just to see how far they can push it. The ADA is just another fly in the ointment.

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