In this October 2016 photo, Dustin Sparkman, left, and Deraesha Stewart work as a team to clean and quality check windshields in the Moraine Fuyao Glass America plant. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Former Fuyao worker claims he was fired after injury

A former Fuyao Glass America worker is suing the Moraine manufacturer, claiming the company fired him after he was injured off the job.

Willie H. Ware Sr., of Dayton, filed the suit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court last Monday.

In the suit, Ware said he worked for Fuyao from June 2016 until July 2017 when he was terminated. He said he worked as a glass inspector, regularly receiving positive reviews for his job performance, until July, when he injured his right hand outside of work.

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Ware dislocated a joint and had his hand placed in a cast, according to his account in the lawsuit filing. He said he reported to work with a note from a physician excusing him from work for three days.

Ware claims a team leader at the factory directed him to the plant’s human resources office, where, he said, he was “terminated without warning immediately following his request for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) information or medical leave.”

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The FMLA requires U.S. employers to offer workers unpaid but job-protected time off for medical reasons under certain qualifying conditions.

Ware holds that Fuyao failed to follow a progressive discipline policy. He seeks a permanent injunction against Fuyao, new policies and training for supervisors, demotion of the supervisors who engaged in “discrimination, harassment, or retaliation” against him and other measures.

Ware is also asking for restoration of employment at the plant, as well as monetary damages and an award in excess of $25,000.

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A message seeking comment was sent Friday to an attorney for Ware.

“We believe the lawsuit filed by former employee Mr. Ware against the company is without merit; and we intend to vigorously defend against it. It is our policy not to comment further on pending litigation,” Fuyao spokewoman Lei Shi said in an email. 

Employing about 2,000 people, Fuyao says its Moraine plant is the world’s largest auto glass production facility.