Former New Jersey bus driver denied discrimination appeal

By Marian Johns | Apr 17, 2019

TRENTON — The New Jersey Superior Court has denied the appeal of a New Jersey bus driver who alleged his employer subjected him to a hostile work environment and discriminated against him because of his weight. 

According to the court's April 4 filing, Corey Dickson, petitioned the Superior Court to review a lower court's granting of a summary judgment and dismissal of his against Community Bus Lines, Inc., (Community), doing business as Coach USA, Charlie Diggs, Rudy Bhagwandas and Dr. Jeffrey Liva. 

Dickson, who began working for Coach USA in 2005, had passed the required medical exams for 10 years despite weighing between 500 to 600 pounds.  In April 2015, he failed the Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exam and was told to get more testing by several doctors before he could resume driving but he failed to get the additional testing, the suit says.  

Dickson then filed a complaint against Coach USA in February 2016, alleging he was subjected to a hostile work environment due to his "disability" because employees and supervisors made fun of his weight with some saying he was as big as a "747' and calleging violation of the state's Law Against Discrimination (LAD). 

During the litigation process, Dickson's medical records were revealed. They showed that he had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2017, suffered a stroke two years later and was also diagnosed with a variety of medical problems including congestive heart failure. 

The superior court ruling stated that it agreed with the lower court's decision and that the "cumulative effect" of the comments made by his fellow employees were "not sufficiently 'severe or pervasive'" to qualify as an "actionable hostile work environment claim."

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