Kroger Faces Employee Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

Plano, TX: A former employee of Cincinnati-based grocery chain The Kroger Co, has filed a discrimination and harassment lawsuit in federal court based on claims Kroger fired him because of his mental and physical disabilities, and despite his multiple commendations and a successful work history.

Plano resident Karl Tipple, 24, filed the suit on September 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Plano, case number 4:12-CV-00573, after receiving Right to Sue Letters from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission.

The lawsuit alleges that the manager of Kroger Store 581, located in the 2900 block of Custer Road in Plano, repeatedly harassed Mr. Tipple for more than a year, including referring to Mr. Tipple on numerous occasions as a "f------ retarded idiot" who was "too stupid to live."

Mr. Tipple, who began working at another Kroger location more than six years ago, suffers from an attention-deficit disorder and partial deafness, and has an IQ that allows him to read and write on a third-grade level. He was transferred to Kroger's Custer Road location in November 2010 as an Assistant Bakery Manager, but was quickly demoted to a checker and bagger position and was forced to file multiple grievances to gain full-time employment from his supervisors.

According to the lawsuit, the store manager frequently yelled at Mr. Tipple on the sales floor, forced him to work alone on certain tasks, brought unsubstantiated allegations against him from other employees, and ultimately filed a false customer complaint that was later withdrawn. In addition, the manager confiscated Mr. Tipple's personal cell phone, apparently believing that the phone was being used to document violations of corporate and union policies by the manager and other employees. Until his firing in December 2011, Mr. Tipple served as the youngest elected Steward of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Kroger's history.

The plaintiff is represented by the Kendall Law Group.

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Reader Comments

Posted by
I worked for Kroger/Foods co for 3 years I was fired for sticking up for myself and telling my manager I felt over worked and underpaid. I was scheduled to work bakery department and was being called to check every 5 minutes it's frustrating they are too cheap to schedule enough cashiers they bug everyone from departments who have their own work to do. When I told my Manger I was stressed out from being over worked and under paid he said alot of people would agree with me. I just don't understand why they wouldn't resolve any of it but they don't care about their employees all they care about is their money

Posted by
Diane Scott
So my son Elijah Scott was @ work today and they get to wear jerseys on Sunday. So he decided to wear Colin kaepernick's and a customer complaint so they sent him home to change. I called the mgr and she said its 911 and he's on companies time. I told her it was stupid sending a black kid home. If that was the case then nobody should wear jerseys. Krogers on Derr Rd. Shame on you for not standing up for your employee. You should told your customers to shop somewhere else

Posted by
Vincent S.D.
I worked for a local Kroger Co. in Huntsville, TX for a little under a year, before they put me on suspension for wrongful reasons not backed by the Union, and then making me not able to work for them at all when they filed false terrorist threats on me that were never proven too be what my intentions were, being a hard working employee who also has had his wages fooled with in past cases.

Posted by
I work for kroger in cincinnati and I have gotten suspended due to me taking prescription medication for my disability and I put on leave I have done nothing wrong one of the managers was rude with me calling me names so theu took me to get drug tested and we went which I am prescribed medications as of my disability the hr was rude to me I ask them questions theu tell me to shut my mouth and leave there store and don't come back the and not grocery shop basically not aloud there they never called me it's been 3 days they don't want to hear anything I have to say so I want to no if I have a law suit I do have a tear in my foot didn't no about until this weeknd I had to lean back on the wall tey say I was Hugh which I takr medications but I don't take then at work what can I do please help

Posted by
anthony hood
I was an employee in little rock ark Kroger and I to was fired for the same thing and my treating Doctor even wrote a letter to the manager and I was still fired so I quess it the way the company treats employees with mental issues.

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