Former employee accuses WaWa of discrimination

By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Dec 20, 2017

CLEARWATER — A former employee is suing WaWa, alleging disability discrimination, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

Joshua Avery filed a complaint Nov. 29 in Pinellas Circuit Court against WaWa Inc., alleging the defendant fired him for wearing a back brace. 

According to the complaint, Avery has a history of chronic back problems that require him to wear a back brace. Avery says he worked for a WaWa in Clearwater until his dismissal in 2016, allegedly for unexplained absences.

The suit says Avery has suffered and will continue to suffer from mental anguish and emotional distress, loss of earnings and other employment benefits and job opportunities, as a result of WaWa's willful and intentional discrimination and wrongful termination. 

The plaintiff alleges WaWa failed its duty to eliminate discrimination from the workplace, failed to adequately supervise, control, discipline and/or otherwise penalize discriminatory practices, and discharged Avery in retaliation for his filing and attempting to file a valid worker’s compensation claim.

Avery seeks trial by jury, compensatory and punitive damages between $15,000 and $75,000, interest, court costs and all other relief the court deems proper. He is represented by attorneys James M. Thompson and Kathryn C. Hopkinson of Thompson Legal Center LLC in Tampa.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 17-CA-7040

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