Safelite Manager Responds to Claims of Discrimination and Retaliation by Former Driver
August 22, 2012

by Katie O'Mara, komara@glass.com

Keith Destler, a Safelite manager for a store facility in Commack, New York, has responded to allegations of discrimination and retaliation made by a former driver who worked for him at the company's Commack location. According to the original complaint, the driver, Gamal Elliston, who is black and of Jamaican descent, was hired in August of 2009 as a driver for Safelite. In December of 2009, Keith Destler was hired as the manager for the location. Elliston claims that he and his coworkers were, "continuously subjected to discrimination, a hostile work environment and a pattern and practice of discrimination by defendant [Destler] solely due to race (non-white and national origin (non-European)."

In Destler's response he claims that nearly all of Elliston's claims are false. Elliston alleged that Destler "ridiculed plaintiff Elliston's Jamaican accent and openly mocked him by pretending he could not understand him." Destler does admit in his response that it was difficult to understand Elliston at time, but denies ridiculing or mocking him.

Destler also confirms some of Elliston's claims about an unpaid traffic ticket that he claims led to his license being suspended. Destler does admit that Elliston was given a traffic ticket and that he paid for the traffic ticket and was later reimbursed by Safelite. However, he claims he did not have enough information to know whether Elliston's license was suspended for delay of payment.

Destler goes on to say that he had no knowledge of Elliston complaining to Safelite's human resources department and that Elliston's employment was terminated for "persistent tardiness and attendance problems."

The former driver claims that he contacted Safelite's human resources department, but no investigation ever occurred. According to Elliston, when Destler found out about the contact with human resources, he was seeking revenge and Elliston was eventually given termination papers in March of 2011.

Destler says that, "the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." He also requests a judgment by the court that would dismiss the complaint and award the defendants costs and disbursements.

Elliston is seeking a monetary award for all lost wages and benefits, past and future, back pay, front pay and compensation for mental, emotional and physical injury.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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