Carol Ostrow Apr. 29, 2015, 2:24pm


A Texas employee brought a complaint against his employer of nearly 40 years alleging multiple counts of discrimination in 2012.

Travis Simmons filed against SAIA Motor Freight Line LLC of Dallas on April 20 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, claiming infringement of his civil rights via race, age and disability, plus retaliatory action, in his November 2012 job termination.

Simmons, of Rosharon, is a 63-year-old black male who had worked for SAIA since October 1976 as a dock worker, city driver, yard hossler and line haul driver. The plaintiff requested a change in job position in January 2012 after incurring physical injuries on several occasions. According to the suit, when his knee was injured while at work in the spring of 2012, he went on light duty to accommodate the injury.

Simmons claims that starting at that time and continuing thereafter on occasions documented in court papers, he was approached by personnel who tried to persuade him to retire. When his trailer was forced off the road and turned over on Nov. 1, 2012, he was allegedly terminated for being in the accident.

Asserting that white drivers had incurred equally serious accidents or worse without being terminated, Simmons filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Occupational Commission and the Texas Workforce Commission on Dec. 17, 2012.

The suit states that the plaintiff is qualified to perform his job duties and that SAIA intentionally violated his federally protected rights via racial and age discrimination. Additionally, the complaint cites disability discrimination based on Simmons’ need to accommodate his physical limitations and/or injuries; and further, retaliatory action by his employer when he confronted the company.

Citing loss of wages and benefits, emotional pain and mental anguish, suffering, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life, the plaintiff seeks: compensation exceeding $75,000; back pay dating to Nov. 20, 2012; front pay; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses; and costs. Simmons is represented by Linda King and Mark Goranson of Goranson King in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case no. 4:15-cv-01010.

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