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Complaint in Butler v. SEPTA

  • Organization: Community Legal Services
  • Document Type: Pleadings (other than briefs)
  • Date Created: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
  • Submitted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
  • Attachment(s): PDF
Spector, Gadon & Rosen and Community Legal Services, Inc. of Philadelphia have filed a class action alleging that SEPTA, the public transit authority of the Philadelphia region, and its paratransit subcontractors have violated Title VII and other statutes by rejecting paratransit drivers because of their criminal records that are unrelated to their abilities to perform their jobs.
In Butler v. SEPTA, Civil Action No. 07-CV-04161-RB, the plaintiffs were rejected or fired despite having performed as paratransit drivers without any problems. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before Judge Ronald Buckwalter.
The lead plaintiff, Erskin Butler, had three years of previous successful experience as a paratransit driver. Nevertheless, he was rejected for an arson offense that had occurred 25 years earlier, for which he had served a sentence that did not include any prison time. The staffing agency responsible for recruitment had advertised that applicants must have a "clean criminal record" and told Mr. Butler that his arson conviction disqualified him. Mr. Butler currently works as an ambulance driver.

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