Whistleblower sues Goodyear after losing job

Michelle Massey Jan. 25, 2011, 3:36am

A former Goodyear Tire & Rubber service manager has filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired in retaliation for reporting fraud and illegal behavior that involved technicians billing customers for work not performed.

Eric Kirmer filed suit Jan. 13 in federal court in New Orleans.

Kirmer was employed from August 2008 until he was terminated on Jan. 15, 2010, the suit claims.

He claims that from the beginning of his employment he was subjected to a continuous pattern of harassment, prejudice, racial discrimination and abuse from his direct supervisor.

Kirmer also states that during the same time period, employees were participating in a fraudulent scheme. According to the allegations, service technicians would bill customers for automobile services but not perform those services.

Due to this alleged fraudulent scheme and concerns regarding environmental violations, Kirmer informed the district manager of the practices in January 2010. He states that the day after reporting these violations, he was transferred.

He claims that shortly after a second transfer, he suffered an on the job injury. He states the defendant violated his rights by failing to accommodate his disability. He states he was terminated for a fabricated and unjust and unwarranted reason.

Goodyear is accused of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law.

Kirmer is seeking an award of compensatory damages, lost earnings, exemplary damages, punitive damages, loss of earning capacity, loss of employability, attorney's fees and court costs.

Kirmer is represented by New Orleans attorney Jody Forester Jackson. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00069

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