Kroger Faces Employee Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

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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allegations against him from other employees, and ultimately filed a false customer complaint that was later withdrawn.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
Katherine Dean
I was an employer with Kroger for 8 years. It would have been 9 in September. I work in the Deli in Denton Texas one night I had the rudest customer ever. he asked me to clean slicer so I did. he walked away. He wanted just one item. I finished his he was gone for a while. well another customer came up and wanted of course the messiest item which is Buffalo chicken the other cutomer came back finally. he didn't even look at the meat. he was looking at the slicer. he insisted to talk to manager. i sad i would redo it for him again. he said rude AND loud voice I want to speak to manager!! I called manager . I did say well i said I guess you want it free. that mad him mad so he called manager and threaten he was gonna call main office etc. finally manger came over i put my fingers together pointing at customer (of course he was turn around talking to manager) like I wanted to shoot him. I also heard them talking. They where standing right there where I can here. he pretty much called me a lair saying all he wanted was for me to clean and he said i didn't do my job. I was furious. my manager said I should have walked away. I was by myself I couldn't. the Manger could have taken him away.

I put in a request to transfer out of the deli to over night stock may 2016. I put on my request I wanted to transfer out due to health and school. a year later nothing. I am not saying I didn't do anything wrong but non of this would have happen if they would have gotten me out of there when I asked.

I am diabetic. I take xanax and lexapro for my panic attacks. I have doctors note. I also know someone who said she has really bad cramps due to a women condition. one of the manager told just take a ansprin.
These managers don't know what they are doing or how to talk to there employees. the pay sucks. we also had three who walked, and one two weeks notice before this happen to me. so now my department is down 5 people. I wish they would do something about pay. that will help.

Posted by
dee wilson
I live in mesa az. My granddaughter has worked at Frys in coffee shop for a year the mgr told her she had to wear a hairnet along with the cap she has worn since she started she told them she gets bad migranes and couldn't wear one.He told her it was just in her head. She was very upset and in conversations her kept telling her that. She told him she woukd have to put her 2 week notice in of course they don't want that she told him she takes med for them but his coments were as if he didn't care he offered to put her in different dept but if she wanted that she would not have wanted this one. The dept mgr told all emp of coffee shop about hairnets its over so drop it! This is bull.kroger/Frys does not put people in these positions that have that kind of leadership. I worked for Kroger 45 yrs ago I cant belive this. please contact me on how to solve this. My daughter and I are a valued customer at this time. Thank you

Posted by
Don Portis
I was terminated for doing my job correctly i.e, reporting safety violations. I worked essentially for Kroger. However, not specifically. Kroger contracted my employer Ruan transportation, and Atlas Warehouse to execute transportation and shipping for their products. The unsafe working conditions were blatant and obvious. After hundreds of reports and photographs that were indisputable of many dangerous circumstances to my superiors that were ignored, I reported the situation to OSHA and DOT.

I presently represent myself in this case. Employees of these companies have been manipulated and intimidated by arrogant individuals that are instructed to do so by executive management. Many workers have been seriously injured, and even killed because of this disgusting situation.

I hope to expose these circumstances which includes the government agencies that were designed to protect workers. I urge any individual that has been discriminated by these companies to contact me.

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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