John Suayan Jul. 18, 2016, 3:01pm


Dallas-based custom clothier J Hilburn, Inc. has been accused in a former executive’s lawsuit of subjecting the plaintiff to sex and age discrimination prior to ultimately terminating her.

Kristen Lynn Celko, a Dallas resident, filed the suit on July 11 in the Dallas County 101st District Court and amended the complaint two days later. According to Celko, J Hilburn fired her for “openly” opposing the purported discrimination.

The defendant employed Celko as a chief marketing officer for approximately a year.

Court documents assert that J Hilburn Chief Operating Officer Larry Hagenbuch mistreated the plaintiff as early as her first day with the defendant, and that she was the victim of a double standard which supposedly favored male employees.

As a woman in her early forties, the suit says, Celko was also subjected to inappropriate remarks about age. She reportedly advised J Hilburn CEO Veeral Rathod to not call their customers aged 40-60 years “old” during a strategic plan discussion in late 2015.

J Hilburn dismissed Celko on Nov. 20, 2015.

“Hilburn failed, despite Celko’s efforts, to give Celko any non-discriminatory reason for its decision to terminate her,” the suit says.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks more than $1 million in damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by attorney Hal K. Gillespie of the law firm Gillespie Sanford LLP in Dallas.

Dallas County 101st District Court Case No. DC-16-08214

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