Warren – A Youngstown man has filed a civil lawsuit against a Liberty roofing company and a manager for wrongful termination, alleging discrimination and lack of safety practices.
The Trumbull County Common Pleas Court lawsuit filed on behalf of Andre Davis of 443 Aurora Drive names TEMA Roofing Services LLC of Motor Inn Drive, Liberty and Superintendent David Pugh as defendants.
The lawsuit was originally filed in December and transferred last week by the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. It was assigned to Judge Peter J. Kontos.
The lawsuit also accuses the company of discriminating against its former African-American employee. The company has also been accused of failing to give Davis proper progressive disciplinary action prior to his September 12, 2019 layoff.
The facts of the case show that Davis was hired by TEMA through Roofers Local # 71 in August 2008. Davis was a third year apprentice roofer and Pugh was Davis’ superintendent and field manager.
The lawsuit cites two cases in which Davis claims the company was to blame. The first happened around August 15, 2019, when Davis was on the team working on an umbrella project at the Franklin YMCA overseen by foreman David Klink. Davis was the only African American on the team, the lawsuit says, and the project involved the removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos.
The asbestos removal team was fired from the Franklin site before the asbestos removal was complete. On September 6, 2019, Klink Davis ordered a large, unincorporated pile of asbestos on the floor near dumpsters to be cleaned up with just his hands and a shovel.
When Davis reminded Klink of an agreement that neither Davis nor his crew should handle asbestos for health and safety reasons, the foreman dismissed the objections and ordered Davis to do the job.
Davis and another unnamed union operator agreed that removal with a forklift was safer. After Davis did the job with a forklift, Klink reprimanded Davis for not following instructions.
A second incident occurred on September 9, 2019 while Davis was working at a Rootstown Elementary School. Again the suit claims Davis is the only African American on the TEMA crew in Rootstown.
When the team arrived at the Rootstown construction site, they complained about dust and other hazardous work conditions and asked for PPE.
Pugh delivered the PPE to the site, but when Davis asked the security monitor about the item, it was turned down with an “offensive comment”.
Three days later, when the Rootstown project was due to end, the lawsuit states that there was no normal working meeting that morning. Because of this, Davis took it upon himself to throw materials off the roof. When the security monitor observed Davis, the lawsuit said he started yelling at Davis.
The Monitor later yelled at Davis again for “unsafe” dropping insulation from the roof, the lawsuit said. When Davis started dropping tools from the roof onto an open area below, the foreman kept yelling at Davis, telling him to hand the tool over to a colleague downstairs.
After that happened, the foreman said he had it with Davis and called Pugh to report him on alleged insubordination. At the end of the day, Pugh fired Davis for alleged insubordination and safety violation.
The dismissal measure, according to the lawsuit, was carried out without an interview or written or oral reprimands or a final written warning to the employee.
The lawsuit claims $ 25,000 against each defendant for the two claims of wrongful dismissal and discrimination. She also wants a $ 25,000 penalty for each defendant.
The company’s website states that TEMA Roofing Services is a family business that spans three generations and 50 years of history. Attempts to contact the property or Pugh were unsuccessful.
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