The Kroger grocery chain, headquartered in Cincinnati, is being sued for disability discrimination by a former employee in Texas.
Karl has attention-deficit disorder and is partially deaf. Even so, he had worked his way up to assistant bakery manager by the time he was transferred to a new store. According to an EEOC complaint, Karl’s new manager began a campaign to get him to quit. He demoted Karl and subjected him to a steady stream of abuse, calling him a “f***ing retarded idiot ... too stupid to live.”
Despite reading and writing at the third-grade level, Karl didn’t back down. In fact, he became the youngest union steward in Kroger history.
After Karl filed grievances, the manager allegedly responded by yelling at him in the grocery aisles, filing a false customer complaint against him and forcing him to work alone on many projects. On one occasion, the manager confiscated his cellphone because he believed Karl was recording the manager’s violations of corporate and union policies.
Karl was fired in December 2011, and filed suit in federal court, alleging disability discrimination. Absent a settlement, this case will go before a jury.