Pella Corp. (Pella), Dana Volkay, Pella accounting department manager, and Michelle DeMarco, Pella human resources manager (collectively known as the defendants) have filed a notice of removal in a lawsuit filed by Judith Beil, a former Pella employee of thirty years, against the Iowa-based manufacturer. A notice of removal is signed by defendants and filed in federal court to begin the process of transferring civil actions from state to federal courts, according to court documents.

According to Beil’s amended complaint, filed in January 2020, she experienced “age-related animus” in 2019, while still employed by Pella, as she reached her late fifties. Beil was fired from her position on December 6, 2019, according to her amended complaint, after “being the victim of harassment and age-related animus.” She is suing the defendants under allegations associated with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

Volkay

“For example, her supervisor, Dana Volkay asked her why she was still working here and commented that she is one of the ‘old timers.’ Employees younger than the plaintiff (Beil) were given larger base salaries, raises and year-end bonuses despite plaintiff’s exemplary job performance,” a portion of Beil’s amended complaint reads.

According to court documents this wasn’t the only time Beil felt as if she were being discriminated against. In her amended complaint, she alleges that in 2018 she was “targeted because of her age and was demoted by Pella from accounting manager to accounting supervisor.” Beil also claims that she wasn’t notified of her demotion, the duties it entailed or the reason(s) why she was reassigned.

“Plaintiff was the victim of harassment by the defendants and subjected to a hostile work environment perpetrated by the defendants. Volkay repeatedly used foul language in Beil’s presence,” a portion of Beil’s amended complaint reads.

DeMarco

Court documents allege that Beil sent a confidential email to DeMarco regarding a team-building work event, inquiring about other options. After DeMarco responded to Beil’s inquiry, DeMarco then sent a copy of the email to Volkay, Beil alleges. Beil alleges that DeMarco’s actions were “intended to create ill will for Beil with Pella employees.” As a result of the email being forwarded to Volkay, Beil says she experienced additional hostility and friction in the workplace.

Based on the years of discrimination Beil alleges that she received, she asked the court to side in her favor on five counts against the defendants for violating both the ADEA and the NJLAD.

At this time, neither side has responded to [DWM]’s requests for comment.

Stay tuned to dwmmag.com for updates.

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