Former Terminix manager sues over wrongful termination

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 16, 2008, 4:41pm

MARSHALL – Terminix branch manager Jaclyn Baker claims she was fired for making complaints about her supervisors, court papers say.

Alleging violations of the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Jaclyn Baker filed suit against Terminix International on July 16 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Court documents say Baker was wrongly fired when she filed gender, race, and inappropriate behavior complaints against her supervisors.

According to Baker's original complaint, the hostile work environment started in July 2007, after she filed complaints of discrimination with the Terminix Human Resources Department.

Baker said she believes her supervisors retaliated against her by "walling her out" of work-related meetings, excluding her from business lunches, giving her the "silent treatment," removing employees in an effort to negatively influence productivity and "staring and leering at her."

Further, Baker's suit states that Terminix retaliated against her by knowingly making false claims of poor work performance.

Months after the complaints were filed, Baker said she was called into a meeting to address the discrimination issues.

She states that the complaints were not handled properly, as it was the supervisor she was complaining about that also had the duty to resolve and handle her complaints. She was terminated from her position as branch manager.

Prior to being terminated, Baker said she had an exemplary work record spanning many years with Terminix.

She argues that the actions by Terminix have caused her to suffer great embarrassment, loss of retirement savings and health benefits, financial strain and humiliation.

The plaintiff is seeking an award for damages that include back pay, reinstatement of former job position, reimbursement for lost fringe benefits, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, humiliation, court costs and attorney fees.

In addition, Baker is seeking an award of punitive damages to punish and deter Terminix for its "willful and malicious misconduct."

Marshall attorney Bruce A. Craig of the Carlile Law Firm LLP is representing the plaintiff and requesting a trial by jury.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom will preside over the litigation.

Case No: 2:08CV00275

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