Goodyear worker claims termination due to age, sues company for discrimination

David Yates Apr. 10, 2008, 6:00am

John Rexses worked for Goodyear for three decades. Last year, he was suddenly put on leave, then fired. Rexses claims he was fired because of his age and has filed a discrimination suit against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

His suit was filed on April 9 in the Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's petition, Goodyear employed Rexses for 31 years and 1 month, most recently as a customer service and planning manager. He claims he always demonstrated exemplary performance and was consistently rated as a high achiever.

On Feb. 13, 2007, Rexses was reprimanded for what Goodyear termed non- conformance regarding communications with areas outside Chemical Operations before notifying Chemical Operation's management. He was immediately placed on administrative leave two days later. On Feb. 17, 2007 Rexses received a letter advising that his employment was terminated, the suit said.

"Plaintiff alleges that the reason for termination was pretextural for age discrimination in that he had continually successfully communicated with others outside the Chemical Operation Management chain as an essential aspect of his job that he had admirably performed for quite some time," the suit said.

"Additionally, the stated reason for termination was his alleged violation of the letter of reprimand given to him on Feb. 13, 2007. It would have been impossible to violate the terms of the letter of reprimand because immediately following his receipt of that letter, he was no longer working as he had been placed on administrative leave."

Rexses alleges that the reason given to him for termination was false and that age was a motivating factor in the decision to terminate his employment because almost immediately when Bob Hebert replaced Brent Trask as his supervisor, he made comments regarding his age and the implementation of a succession plan, the suit said.

"Goodyear discriminated against Plaintiff in violation of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, as amended, based upon Plaintiffs age," the suit said. "Plaintiff brought this suit within 60 days from the date of receipt of Texas Commission on Human Rights issuance of the Notice of Right to File a Civil Action."

Rexses is suing for lost wages and damages for the humiliation he suffered, plus attorney's fees.

He is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Gregg Rosenberg of the Rosenberg & Sprovach law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D181-569

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