Woman sues company for removing her from controller position in favor of younger worker

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 10, 2013, 5:53pm

HOUSTON - Complaining that The Hunton Group removed her from her position in order to keep a younger employee from taking a new job elsewhere, Linda Padgett is pursuing legal action.

A lawsuit filed June 4 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas claims the company terminated Padgett for "non-performance of her job duties" as a front to getting back at her for her age discrimination complaints.

Padgett worked for the defendant from 1987 to 2012.

She was employed as its controller at the time of the alleged events.

The suit shows the plaintiff, 61, was in the midst of training a woman in her early 30s to succeed her upon retirement when the latter received and accepted a job offer from another company.

According to the original petition, the respondent convinced the woman not to leave by giving Padgett's job to her.

Padgett adds Hunton moved to assign her fewer duties and responsibilities as well as reduce her salary by 45% because "it was time for her to start slowing down and have less responsibility at her age."

The defendant informed her in writing that it wanted her to be the assistant to the chief financial officer to which she refused.

Court papers further state Padgett pointed out to Hunton she was not "being treated fairly" because of her age, and the respondent coerced her to sign a document indicating her acceptance of the assistant post and dismissal of all complaints.

The complainant refused only to be terminated around Aug. 1, 2012.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Stuart M. Nelkin of Nelkin & Nelkin, P.C. in Houston is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1638

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