UPS worker claims supervisor called him 'stupid' in lawsuit

A former employee of United Parcel Service (UPS) filed suit in U.S. District Court Nov. 17, claiming his civil rights were violated. Seeking damages in excess of $100,000, Vince Cook of Swansea claims his white female supervisor at the UPS Belleville office called him "stupid and dumb" in front of other supervisors about the way he handled a situation about miscounted package in Peoria. Cook, who claims he was the only African-American at the meeting, also claims his supervisor, Barbara Callaghan, made racially disparaging remarks about him to his co-workers. According to the complaint, Cook was employed as the business manager. "The Plaintiff was not given any support by his supervisor, Barbara Callaghan, and felt his treatment was racially motivated because he was the only manager excluded from social events, company meetings, and decision making required by his position," the complaint states. Cook claims was threatened by the loss of his job which violates company policy and has witnessed numerous occasions of unethical behavior by his supervisor and claims his supervisor wrongfully terminated his employment on Dec. 28, 2004. "The Plaintiff asserts that his treatment was disparate and caused by his race, being African American, said actions being a violation of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 US Code Sections 2000(e) and 2000 (e-5)," the complaint states. According to Cook, he was required to keep track of all employees' hours and the location of each employee on a timecard which he would turn in at the end of the workday. He claims Callaghan fired him for improperly filling out time cards, even though he completed the assignment according to her specifications. "UPS had in place a policy granting him the right to progressive discipline and discharge for just cause only," the complaint states. "Plaintiff relied upon policy manual." Cook claims UPS departed from company policy by discharging him without just cause. He claims UPS' policy manual created an enforceable contractual right that he could only be discharged for just cause. Cook claims his discharge caused him to suffer loss of income, emotional anguish and distress, loss of certain accrual retirement benefits, certain seniority rights, loss of benefits including sick time, retirement, and seniority. Represented by Edwardsville attorney Greg Roosevelt, Cook also is seeking restoration of employment and all its benefits and reimbursement of all his cost and legal fees. The case has been assigned to District Judge J. Phil Gilbert.

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