Special Needs Man Fired After 18 Years On The Job

| by Ray Brown
Michael Fedlock talks about losing his job.Michael Fedlock talks about losing his job.

A special needs man said he was unjustly fired from the janitor position he had held for 18 years.

Michael Fedlock worked at the Baldwin-Whitehall School District near Pittsburgh for nearly two decades, diligently cleaning classrooms and hallways. But he recently received a notice that said he would be suspended and possibly terminated, reported KDKA.

Fedlock, 61, said he received written notices before the suspension, but he's unable to read. Also, his mother recently died and he now lives alone with little help, despite being a special needs person.

Facing possible joblessness, Fedlock reached out to local newscaster Marty Griffin for help.

“I couldn’t take it anymore, Marty. I have stress. How much can I take, sir?” Fedlock said.

Fedlock claims that his supervisor nitpicked him for small, insignificant things in an effort to get him fired. For example, photos of his alleged “poor work performance” show small amounts of chalk dust on a chalk tray and a small ball in the corner of a classroom.

Fedlock also said that the supervisor used a flashlight to inspect corners to find traces of dirt. If there was any present, he would be reprimanded.

The school district and the union told KDKA they were unable to comment because it was a personnel matter.

Meanwhile, Griffin took Fedlock to civil rights attorney Maggie Coleman for assistance in the matter.

“This is troubling,” Coleman said. “If you’ve got somebody who’s been a loyal dedicated employee for that long who doesn’t have any record of discipline or poor performance, it seems very shoddy to me to suddenly push them out the door.”

In February, Chris Emery, a 29-year-old special needs man, was fired from his job of 12 years as a janitor at an amusement park after a new interview process determined that he “didn't fit in,” reported the Morning Call. After the story went viral, social media outrage persuaded the company to rehire Emery.

Fedlock hopes to get his job back, too. But if he's unable to, Coleman hopes to at least get him a settlement and a pension.

Sources: KDKA, Morning Call / Photo credit: KDKA

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