Race was factor in firing, suit claims

An African-American man claims his former employer wrongly terminated him because of his race.

Roger N. Ivy filed a lawsuit June 16 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Veolia Environmental Services Technical Solutions.

Ivy claims he was working for Veolia when one of its employees drove the mast of a forklift into a garage door, causing damage to the door and to the Veolia-owned building on Nov. 16. At the time of the incident, Ivy was working in another building and did not see the incident occur, according to the complaint.

Still, Ivy's supervisors questioned him about the incident, the suit states. Ivy responded that he had no part in the incident; that one of his co-workers could account for his whereabouts at the time of the occurrence; that a Caucasian employee, Justin Crow, had been operating the forklift during the shift; and that the supervisors should speak with another white employee who had been working in the building when the damage occurred, the complaint says.

On Nov. 18, Ivy's supervisors again questioned him about the incident, and he repeated the information from his previous interview, he claims.

On Dec. 8, Ivy's supervisors fired him for failure to report the incident, withholding information and providing false information, according to the complaint. Again, on Dec. 10, Ivy's supervisor called him at his home to inform him of his termination, the suit states.

"When Plaintiff attempted to tell Harris that he did not cause -- or even see -- the forklift incident, Harris yelled at Plaintiff and called Plaintiff a liar," the complaint says.

Ivy claims Veolia only terminated his employment and not others who had been involved in the situation.

"Defendant discharged Plaintiff from his job because of his race, in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act," the suit states.

Because of his discharge, Ivy lost wages and suffered inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and loss of his enjoyment of life, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Ivy seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Ivy of Shiloh will be appearing pro se.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-299.

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