Veteran Pharmacist Alleges Wrongful Termination, Abuse of ADA, Against CVS
A long-time pharmacist working at CVS Caremark in Harrisburg, one of the chain’s busiest locations, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company in federal court. He alleges that the company discriminated against him, and when they laid him off, they also endangered many of their patients.
The plaintiff, 61-year-old Joseph Zorek, has two lawsuits pending against CVS – the wrongful termination suit in the federal court of Pennsylvania, and another alleging that CVS harassed him and attempted to move him to another location is in Pennsylvania state court.
Zorek was a pharmacy manager at a 24-hour CVS in Harrisburg, PA which he said was the busiest in the area. In 2011, a 20% cutback in pharmacy technician hours led to “a greater number of mistakes in filling and labeling prescriptions,” and at the same time, he and his staff were “berated…for not meeting the prescription sales metrics” by the district manager and other higher-up employees for CVS.
Zorek complained repeatedly about the staffing cutbacks and the danger they posed to customers, but instead of listening to his concerns, he alleges, the company fired him. He says he informed his supervisor that “cutting the pharmacy staff in the area’s busiest pharmacy, in which the volume of prescriptions dispensed continued to increase year – over – year, would likely endanger patient safety.”
However, “In an effort to increase profits, defendants cut the number of pharmacy technician hours,” his wrongful termination suit alleges.
Because of the cuts, pharmacy techs were under greater time pressure, which resulted in “pharmacy technicians making a greater number of mistakes in labeling and filling prescriptions.” The pharmacy filled 4,200 prescriptions per week, according to Zorek, which was more than any other pharmacy in the area. The stress could have resulted in patient injuries, according to Zorek’s wrongful termination lawsuit.
CVS Caremark, the nation’s second largest pharmacy chain by store count, denies Zorek’s allegations of wrongful termination. “The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority and we have comprehensive policies and procedures in place to ensure prescription safety,” said Michael DeAngelis, a company spokesman.
Zorek worked for CVS since 1968.
He also alleges that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and discriminated against him as an employee with multiple sclerosis. As a team leader, he worked 50 to 60 hours per week and managed 21 pharmacy technicians, and yet, despite his chronic illness, the company forced him to use a lift chair that was not designed for long-term sitting.
Employment Law and Wrongful Termination in South Carolina
Whether you are dealing with your employer’s failure to pay wages, a wrongful termination, or even a claim of discrimination, you may feel as if you do not have anywhere to turn.
South Carolina is an at-will employment state, meaning that you have the right to quit your job at any time for any reason or no reason at all; likewise, your employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason at all.
However, an employer cannot fire you for any reason that:
• is illegal or protected under State or Federal law,
• violates the express terms of an implied or express contractual agreement, or
• violates public policy.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Issues of Wrongful Termination
The Employment Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm understand that your job is your livelihood and know what is at stake. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, based on your agreement with your employer or legal issues surrounding your job, you may have a case. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. 803.252.4800