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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Fired for Military Status, Man Says

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CN) - An EMT claims the Jersey City Medical Center fired him because he needed time off for military training. Derek Hernandez, a member of the New Jersey Army National Guard, sued the hospital in Hudson County Superior Court.

Hernandez, who started working for the hospital in 2006, claims his supervisor, Richard Sposa, "initially rejected his time-off request" for training in Fort Dix but allowed him "to attend the drills after [he] argued with him."

Hernandez says Sposa also made an issue of his attending the funeral of a high school friend who died in Iraq, as a member of the Honor Guard, even "demanding a copy of the orders for the funeral."

Hernandez says Sposa eventually called him into his office and asked why taking time off was "a recurring problem."

Hernandez says a co-worker falsely accused him of making "threats with a weapon" and had "threatened to bring a weapon into work," because she "had previously complained in jealous fashion about the fact that Mr. Hernandez had received time off because of drill weekends."

Hernandez says he was given no opportunity to respond to these allegations.

Hernandez says he was suspended due to the false complaint and eventually terminated for alleged "inappropriate behavior in the workplace."

The only defendants are the medical center and John Does 1-10.

Hernandez seeks damages for military status discrimination. He is represented by Ronald Wronko of Florham Park, N.J.

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