Bank employee claims age discrimination

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 29, 2010, 3:11am

SHERMAN-A former employee of a Texas bank has filed an age discrimination lawsuit after she refused a demotion and was subsequently terminated.

Diana Richerson filed suit against First Bells Bankshares Inc. d/b/a The First National Bank of Bells/Savoy on Sept. 24 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

Richerson was an employee of the defendant for approximately fourteen years and had worked in the banking industry for twenty years prior to her termination.

According to the lawsuit, the age discrimination began in January 2009 when Alan Renfroe became president of the bank. Richerson states the new bank president began suggesting she should retire by the end of 2009.

Although she complained to the bank's owner, she states she was ultimately told to handle her problems with the bank's president. On Dec. 29, 2009, Renfroe told Richerson that she was being demoted to a teller position.

She refused to accept the demotion as it was a lower paying position and she subsequently lost her job.

The defendant is accused of violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for actual damages and for mental anguish, punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Richerson is represented by Sherman attorney Ronald R. Huff. Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:10cv00506

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