Longtime worker claims Waldoboro Hannaford fired him for age

By Stephen Betts | Feb 10, 2017

Waldoboro — A longtime worker at the Hannaford supermarket at 18 Kalers Pond Road has filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired because of his age and disabilities.

The lawsuit on behalf of W. Terrence Pennington of Warren against Hannaford Bros. Co. LLC was filed Thursday, Feb. 9, in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Pennington claims he was fired in March 2016, a few days after he had returned from a medical leave for shoulder surgery. The lawsuit states that Hannaford had claimed his firing was due to hid extending the code dates for cut fruit in violation of safety standards and directing subordinates to do the same.

Pennington said those allegations were false and manufactured in order to fire him.

Pennington had worked at the Hannaford store from 1975 to 1986 when he left for another job. He returned in 1999, serving as produce manager, and remained there until his termination last year.

The Warren man had requested and received medical leaves on several occasions over his three decades with the store, according to the lawsuit. The last leave was an 11-week one granted in December 2015.

He said when the store was being expanded, the store manager would ask him whether he was capable of running a larger produce section, according to the lawsuit. Pennington was 58 years old when he was fired.

He said when he returned to work at the end of February 2016, he was restricted as to what he could do because of the shoulder injury. On his first day back, the lawsuit states, Pennington was called into the store office and told he was being investigated for cutting fruit ahead of time and not dating the fruit properly. He was immediately placed on administrative leave.

He said four days later, he was fired.

Pennington is seeking to return to his job or to receive back pay from when he was fired, as well as punitive damages and costs associated with the lawsuit.

He is represented by attorneys Chad Hansen and Peter Thompson of Portland.

Hannaford spokesman Eric Bloom said the company has a policy not to discuss pending litigation.

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