Employee Allegedly Barred from Policy Training and then Fired for Violating Policy.


Employee Files Lawsuit against Rice Energy for Age Discrimination

Robert accepted a job with Rice Energy as a senior construction foreman in December 2015. Before accepting the position, Robert recalled that he had been promised training on the company’s policies and procedures. Robert shared that after being hired his boss told him not to speak up during meetings, and according to Robert, he was barred from any meeting that included talk of company policy as well as being trained in the policies and procedures. Meanwhile, Robert noted that employees younger than him were trained and welcomed into these policy meetings.

As part of his job, Robert went through a two-class certification program for equipment use with other employees. He was never told not to operate the equipment. Near the end of August 2016, Robert shared that a subcontractor was ineffectively operating a piece of equipment. Robert allegedly requested that he stop and took over operating the machine. After completing the task, Robert remembered that the subcontractor accused him of bumping a pipe and almost hitting another coworker with the equipment.

In response to these accusations, Robert’s supervisor called and ordered Robert to shut the job site down, promising to discuss the situation the following Monday. The Monday meeting occurred without discussion of the job site shutdown. But then, on Tuesday, the vice president called a meeting with Robert, and he allegedly told Robert that he had violated the policy but didn’t outline specifics. Robert, concerned about his job, asked if he was fired, and the VP assured Robert that he wasn’t terminated.

On Wednesday, Robert received a phone call from the head of safety, and he was told that he had violated company policy by operating the equipment. Robert did find out during this conversation that the safety inspection had cleared the accusations against Robert, meaning that pipes and employees had not been hit or damaged. According to Robert, he asked the head of safety about other employees operating the equipment, but he received no answer. The next day, Robert was fired.

Robert suspects that Rice Energy terminated him due to his age because he recognized a pattern of unfair treatment between himself and younger employees. As a client of KM&A, Robert is pursuing his employee rights. KM&A advocates on behalf of women and men like Robert who suffer age discrimination and termination.


Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:18-cv-00136-RCM

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.

For more information about this case, contact Attorney Sean Ruppert at 412-626-5550 or at sr@lawkm.com.

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.