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“I didn’t get the mail” or “I didn’t read the materials provided” are almost always the legal equivalents of “the dog ate my homework.” And just like the teacher who gave an “F” for the day, courts routinely reject these excuses in employment discrimination claims. This was most recently discussed in Szostek v. Drexel University, No. 12-2921, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130328 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 11, 2013) (Tucker, J.).


Anthony Szostek was a long-term employee of Drexel University, who had worked his way up from the position of custodian to that of commercial driver. He was a member of Teamsters Local 115 and, as such, was subject to the collective bargaining agreement between Drexel and the union. Szostek had taken Family and Medical Leave Act intermittent leaves of absence numerous times during his career.

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