Safelite Motion in Discrimination Lawsuit Gets Denied

Safelite Fulfillment Inc.’s (Safelite) second motion to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey District Court has been denied. The court has yet to announce additional dates for this ongoing suit.

Case Background

Walters vs. Safelite began in June 2018 when Nicholas Walters filed a complaint against Safelite claiming the company displayed discriminatory actions against some of its employees. According to the original complaint, Walters began working with Safelite in or about 2005 in New Jersey. He was promoted to assistant store manager in May 2011 and in September 2015 he was promoted to store manager.

“Walters performed up to and/or exceeded the reasonable expectations of the company throughout his employment. In fact, at no time during Walters’s employment had he ever received a performance evaluation that rated his job performance anything less than meeting or exceeding expectations,” a portion of the complaint reads.

In 2014 Walters became concerned about the Philadelphia territory’s new management team, as he questioned if certain members had Safelite’s best interests in mind. His original complaint alleges he “observed those in the management team who were not abiding by Safelite’s code of conduct policy.”

Walters then stated he was offered a promotion, to become the Absecon store manager from members of management.

“Walters was informed [by two Safelite employees] the current store manager, Shelby Klein, who was on pregnancy leave at the time, was going to be terminated after returning,” a portion of the original complaint reads.

According to court documents, Klein was to “return from her pregnancy leave so it would not seem as if she was being fired for taking maternity leave.” Walters refused to take the promotion under those circumstances and requested to be transferred to a Connecticut store “so that he could get out of the Philadelphia region and its management team.” He was transferred in March 2015 and Klein was terminated from her position, according to court documents.

There he alleged continued discrimination violations against other employees and himself by other members of management. This lead to “Walters being threatened, being put on a performance improvement plan, and ultimately his termination from the company.”

Walters alleges Safelite broke the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and is seeking the following as a result of the harm he claims to have faced:

  • Back pay and benefits;
  • Front pay and benefits;
  • Compensatory damages;
  • Consequential damages;
  • Punitive damages; and
  • Reinstatement.

Motion to Dismiss

In July 2018, Safelite asked the court to approve its motion to dismiss Walters’ complaint. Following this request the court set new trial dates for this lawsuit. In February 2019 a letter was submitted to the court on behalf of both Walters and Safelite stating both parties agreed to a settlement on all matters. However, the lawsuit continued due to a newly filed amended complaint from Walters in March 2019. Safelite filed another motion to dismiss, for the amended complaint, and also requested a venue change. The court then issued a new set of dates and the lawsuit continued.

Safelite also filed a document that alleges Walters did not face discrimination, because he received several promotions on performance and was given additional advancement opportunities, of which he did not mention in his amended complaint.

Order

Currently the New Jersey court has issued an order denying Safelite’s second motion to dismiss. There have not been any additional dates set for this lawsuit yet. Look to a future edition for more updates on this suit.

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