Former teacher sues PAISD for age discrimination

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 26, 2007, 5:00am

Gary Phillips sued the Port Arthur Independent School District April 20, alleging the district fired him due to his age.

His attorney, Dru Montgomery of Beaumont, did not state his age in the complaint.

The plaintiff filed a sworn charge of discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission civil rights division and was issued a right to sue letter on Feb. 26.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, Phillips is a white male over the age of 40 who was employed with PAISD for 23 years. The petition says Phillips years of service with the district were "marked by outstanding reviews and almost perfect attendance."

"Despite his unique background, training and expertise, his employer terminated him because of his age in violation of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act," the petition states. "Mr. Phillips was terminated despite being qualified to assume another position at the time of the discharge."

The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for past lost wages and benefits, future pecuniary losses, past and future emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of wages and benefits, loss of earning capacity and other past and future nonpecuniary losses.

Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that the district acted with malice or reckless disregard to his protected rights and therefore the district is liable for exemplary or punitive damages.

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