67-year-old employee sues for age discrimination

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 15, 2011, 10:00am

LUFKIN - A 67-year-old manager is suing his former employer after his supervisor forced his retirement.

Claiming age discrimination, Norman Cowger filed suit against Rollins Inc., doing business as Orkin Pest Control, and Orkin, also known as Orkin Inc., on April 1 in the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division.

Cowger began working for the defendant in March 1, 1999, and was promoted to the Division Service Manager of the Midwest Division. In April 2009, Cowger was called into a meeting at Orkin's head offices. He states one of his supervisors questioned his retirement plans and then provided two options regarding Cowger "voluntary" retirement.

Before he had made a decision on the offers, Cowger states he received a letter from his employer announcing his "decision to retire." The plaintiff maintains that he did not make such a decision and did not authorize the public announcement.

The defendant is accused of terminating Cowger's employment because of his age, in violation of the Age in Discrimination in Employment Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, front-pay, reinstatement, value of lost benefits, restoration of full benefits, injunction prohibiting future age discrimination, liquated damages, interest, attorney fees and costs.

Cowger is represented by Travis P. Clardy, Jefferson B. Davis and Jerry W. Baker of Clardy Davis & Knowles in Nacogdoches and attorney Richard S. Fischer of Nacogdoches.

A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 9:11-cv-00058

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