An employee for the Pennsylvania Transit Authority (PTA) has filed a lawsuit against his employer. The suit, which is filed in federal court, alleges that the employee endured discrimination because his boss’s focus and disdain for him and the fact that he was of Indian origin. He claims that his work environment was so stressful that it caused his heart attack in 2017, which led to a two-month medical leave.
The 30-year veteran of the PTA joined the Business Division in May of 2016, working as the disadvantaged business enterprise manager who reported the disadvantaged business enterprise director.
An outburst by the boss
According to news reports, one incident cited in the suit involved the manager suggesting that the department hire a data analyst. The director responded in an angry manner that caused the employee to fear that the director would attack him. Nevertheless, the suit is against the PTA instead of the director.
Punished for complaining
The worker complained about mistreatment and was subsequently transferred to a warehouse with no heat, windows or other coworkers, causing him to feel even more isolated. The worker also contends that the PTA did not respond to his complaint.
Stress can cause health issues
The connection between stress and cardio heath is well documented in medical circles. While there is no mention of the worker’s health prior to his heart attack, stressful work environment can contribute to depression, anxiety and other health issues.
Employers need to be careful
There are two sides to every story. Many employers believe that optimizing employee performance is necessary in a challenging economic landscape. However, causing undue stress may lead to trouble. Perhaps the bigger issue is not the manager’s aggressive approach, but the alleged punishment for complaining about his treatment.
The PTA undoubtedly has rules regarding these matters, as do many large employers. If a dispute arises, it is wise for the parties to consult with an attorney with experience handling business law litigation and other disputes. They can help clients resolve matters, perhaps before expensive court litigation.