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.