Several cases with Pennsylvania connections made headlines in August 2021, including one featuring a celebrity from none-other-than West Chester, Pennsylvania, and one that may be an omen of significant future claims against Pennsylvania employers. Read all about it below:
- Bam Margera files wrongful termination suit against MTV, Paramount, Johnny Knoxville and Spike Jonze over ‘Jackass 4’ firing. Bam Margera has filed suit alleging a host of equal employment law violations as well as breach of contract and fraud relating to Margera’s termination from the latest installment of the “Jackass” film franchise, in which he has been a long-time fixture.
Margera was allegedly fired for failing to adhere to a “wellness agreement” that required Margera to maintain his sobriety during filming. The agreement required that Margera complete daily drug tests, breathalyzer and urinalysis tests and video chats with a doctor every morning to ensure he was taking his prescription medications. Margera alleges in his lawsuit that he was forced under duress to sign the agreement, and that he was nevertheless complying with the agreement, but was terminated for taking prescription Adderall, which he had been prescribed for more than 10 years. Among other claims, Margera asserts that he was discriminated against based upon his protected status due to his medical condition.
Margera is a former professional skateboarder and a native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he attended West Chester East High School. The case is Brandon Cole Margera et al. v. Paramount Pictures Corp. et al., filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
- Pennsylvania Welders file Class Action Suit seeking pay for Time Spent on Buses to Work Site. A lawsuit was filed in Pennsylvania state court this month by a proposed class of welders working on the construction of a petrochemical plant outside Pittsburgh. The suit seeks back pay and overtime for hours the workers spent riding company shuttles to and from the job site, and time spent putting on and taking off protective gear. The company reportedly required the workers to park at some distance from Shell Chemical Appalachia’s site in Beaver County and ride shuttles to and from work each day, and the workers did not get “clocked in” until they reached the site and had put on their gear for the day.
Notably, the action follows a July ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court involving Amazon in which the Court held that time spent waiting in a security line before and after shifts was compensable under Pennsylvania state law. My article on that case can be found here. This latest action may be a sign of things to come for Pennsylvania employers whose workplaces include allegedly “mandatory” pre and post-work activities.
Jeff Burke is an attorney at MacElree Harvey, Ltd., working in the firm’s Employment and Litigation practice groups. Jeff counsels businesses and individuals on employment practices and policies, employee hiring and separation issues, non-competition and other restrictive covenants, wage and hour disputes, and other employment-related matters. Jeff also represents businesses and individuals in employment litigation such as employment contract disputes, workforce classification audits, and discrimination claims based upon age, sex, race, religion, disability, sexual harassment, and hostile work environment.