Former employee sues Target after dispute with boss

Kelly Holleran Feb. 23, 2011, 12:14pm

A former Target worker is seeking re-employment after a conflict with his boss led to his resignation.

George Alan Roberts claims he was working in defendant Target's loss prevention program when he began having conflicts with his newly hired supervisor, Marcus Johnson.

"Johnson was verbally abusive towards Roberts," the suit filed Feb. 17 in Jefferson County District Court states. "When Roberts attempted to make sure that Target's procedures were followed, for example, Johnson would yell that this was 'his [expletive] store' and that Johnson could do whatever he wanted, including not following Target's procedures."

When Johnson allegedly arrived to work on "Black Friday" 2009 smelling of alcohol, Roberts decided to report the incident to Target's integrity hotline, according to the complaint.

However, matters only got worse, the complaint says.

Johnson continually harassed Roberts after the phone call, which Roberts alleges causing his diabetes to spike and forced him to take a leave of absence, the suit claims.

When Roberts returned to work, he was informed by Johnson that he would receive corrective action for his performance, according to the complaint. Roberts fought back, saying he had done nothing wrong, the suit states.

Roberts' claim of innocence was validated when Target conducted an investigation and decided not to slam him with corrective action, the suit states. Instead, the store opted to transfer Roberts to another location, the complaint says.

However, Roberts claims he was unhappy with the location chosen for him because Johnson's wife worked at that store and Roberts feared she would retaliate.

According to the complaint, Johnson's wife did retaliate against him by not allowing Roberts to take his diabetes medication on time and making working conditions so intolerable he was forced to resign.

Because of the way he was treated, Roberts suffered mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of earnings, he claims.

In his complaint, Roberts alleges discrimination, retaliation, constructive discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and slander against Target.

Roberts wants the court to order Target to rehire him at the pay grade he held before he was forced to quit.

He also seeks exemplary damages, pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Ralph E. Roberts Jr. of the Roberts Law Firm in Dallas will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D189-386

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