Richard Clem is in a stinky situation: His wife filed a lawsuit last month against their former employer who allegedly fired him for farting too much.
The 70-year-old man and his wife, Louann, both worked at Case Pork Roll Company of Trenton, New Jersey. He was fired in February, 2014, for his supposed flatulence, according to court documents.
Louann Clem claims in a court filing that her husband's termination was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Richard Clem supports the lawsuit and is taking legal action on his own through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"When the suit was filed, I didn't know it would go viral," Clem told The Huffington Post. "I was very surprised."
Richard Clem started working at Case Pork Roll in 2004 as a comptroller and believes he did a good job.
"I brought them into the 21st century," he said proudly.
At the time of his hire, Clem weighed about 420 pounds, but underwent gastric bypass surgery in October 2010, to get rid of his own porky belly.
Clem lost about 120 pounds before gaining back 10. He's also suffered some embarrassing side effects, including "extreme gas and uncontrollable diarrhea."
In 2013, Clem’s symptoms worsened, which caused “significant disruption in the workplace,” according to the suit.
Louann Clem, who began her job at Case Pork Roll in 2008, said company president Thomas Dolan repeatedly griped about her husband's gassy problem.
The suit alleges Dolan made Richard Clem work at home and said things like, "We cannot run an office and have visitors with the odor in the office," and "Tell Rich we are having complaints from people who have problems with the odors."
Richard Clem was fired from Case Pork Roll on February 28, 2014, Louann Clem quit the same day “because of the harassment and discrimination her husband faced as a result of his disability and the resulting symptoms,” according to NJ1015.com.
The Clems' lawyer, David Koller, said his client's gastrointestinal disorders may be getting headlines, but aren't the key part of the case.
"Flatulence and farting is the sexy part of the story, but my client suffers from obesity, which is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act," Koller told The Huffington Post.
Louann Clem is seeking damages from Case Pork Roll that include pain and suffering, compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Richard Clem also wants company employees to go through training programs that will prevent future incidents from occurring.
"I'm speaking up for people who are overweight," he said. "Does being obese mean you can't do a good job? Of course not!"
READ THE LAWSUIT:
But the lawsuit may not pass the smell test according to Mark Davis, a criminal defense attorney in Pasadena, California.
“I don’t know if his employers could help with reasonable accomodations because he’s making it uncomfortable for other employees," Davis told HuffPost.
“Plus, his explosive bouts of diarrhea make it hard for him to do his job."
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