The wife of a Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit against their former employer claiming he was fired over his flatulence.
Richard Clem, 70, had worked at Case Pork Roll Company in New Jersey for a decade when he was fired last year for his apparent flatulence, according to court documents. His wife, who also worked there, claims the firing was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because her husband is obese.
At the time he was hired, Richard weighed 420 pounds. Then in 2010, he received gastric bypass surgery and lost 120 pounds. But following the surgery, he experienced side-effects like gas and uncontrollable diarrhea, according to reports.
According to the suit, in 2013 the side effects worsened and caused “significant disruption in the workplace.”
Louann claims that the president of the company would often complain about her husband’s flatulence.
According to the suit, the president of the company, Thomas Dolan, would make Richard work from home and allegedly said: “We cannot run an office and have visitors with the odor in the office.”
The lawyer for the family, David Koller, told The Huffington Post: “Flatulence and farting is the sexy part of the story, but my client suffers from obesity, which is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Luann is reportedly seeking damages from the company that include pain and suffering, compensatory and punitive damages. Richard wants the company to go through training programs to prevent something like this from happening again.
The company’s owner, Tom Grieb, told mycentraljersey.com that Richard was never fired and when he and his wife were asked to take a pay cut, they quit.
He said: “They were never discriminated against. Even I took a pay cut. He refused and he just walked out. That was the end of it.”
Also according to mycentraljersey.com, Grieb said the couple pursued a discrimination complaint with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC did not pursue Louann’s case, allowing her to sue. Her husband’s EEOC complaint is pending, he said.