Safelite Officials Deny Allegations Related to Kidney Failure, Age Discrimination
July 20, 2011

Safelite has denied the allegations made by a former employee that the company discriminated against him based on a disability related to kidney failure, along with his age, in its recent response to the suit.

Jose Rabeiro, a former Safelite driver and warehouse worker, says he was released after nine years of employment in May 2009 late last year, and filed suit in December. He followed with an amended complaint in June, in which he notes his specific disability was that of kidney failure. The 52-year-old plaintiff says he was diagnosed with the medical issue during the last three to four years of his employment with Safelite and had to attend dialysis treatments three times per week. At the time he began dialysis treatments, Rabeiro says his supervisors “began a campaign of harassment against [him] as a result of his kidney condition (disability/handicap) and his age” in the recent complaint.

While Rabeiro has alleged that he began working for the company “in or around 2000,” Safelite officials say in their response that he actually joined the company as a driver on April 2, 2001.

In addition to denying the discrimination allegations, Safelite says Rabeiro’s claims may be barred on several other premises, such as that he allegedly failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and failed to mitigate any damages that he may have incurred. Likewise, the company says when Rabeiro complained about the alleged unlawful discriminatory conduct, the company “took prompt remedial measures reasonably calculated to end any alleged unlawful discrimination or harassment.”

Safelite further alleges that neither Rabeiro’s age nor disability were factors “in any decision made with respect to [his] employment, including the decision to terminate” his employment. In the response, the company also claims that Rabeiro is not disabled within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act nor the Florida Civil Rights Act, and that he did not request reasonable accommodation.

Mediation in the case originally was scheduled for August 22 in Miami, but the court has now set instead a fact discovery deadline of November 11 and expert discovery deadline of December 2. A jury trial is expected to begin on May 14, 2012.

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