Harris Co. man's lawsuit blames age discrimination for termination from Houston TV station

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 1, 2013, 7:43pm

HOUSTON - A Harris County man pursues legal action against a Houston television station and its parent companies alleging he was fired because of his age. 

Charles Hobson's lawsuit also alleges KRIV, Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Television Stations Inc. and News Corp. subjected him to mistreatment while favoring younger employees.

Court papers were filed March 14 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Hobson worked for KRIV from October 1990 to January 2011.

He was employed as a staff photographer, live truck operator and editor at the time of the events that are the focus of the litigation.

The suit states that the purported discrimination began in the summer of 2009 when the defendants gave Hobson a negative evaluation of his job performance, which the original petition insists was a first.

A year later, he received another poor annual review, but was never told how to improve his performance other than he "could have done something different."

Hobson recalls an incident in which a superior accused him of delaying the transmission of a story during inclement weather, stating he followed the station's policy regarding the live truck's antenna and thunderstorms.

The complainant also mentions another time when the defendants accused him of missing a deadline though the real reason was "mechanical problems outside of his control."

According to the suit, workers his junior committed similar mistakes but were spared disciplinary action.

It adds the respondents made him go to a meeting sometime in December 2010 while he was on vacation where he learned that he was suspended until a decision on his employment had been made.

The defendants formally dismissed Hobson on Jan. 4, 2011, and reportedly replaced him with an individual in their 30s, the suit says.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Nasim Ahmad of Cline Ahmad in The Woodlands is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-725

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