A white Pizza Hut employee is suing the restaurant for age and race discrimination after she was told the restaurant needed a young black manager.

Shannon Coyle filed suit against NPC International Inc. on Sept. 22 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

According to the complaint, Coyle went to work for the Pizza Hut in Silsbee in February 2010, when she was 44 years old. She states that she was asked to step in and run the store until a new manager was hired. The suit states Coyle had served as an assistant manager for Pizza Hut in 2007.

Coyle states she applied for the manager position but alleges a black district manager told her the restaurant needed to hire a young black manager, according to the lawsuit.

Coyle accuses the defendant of violating her civil rights by discriminating against her because of her race and age.

"Defendant denied plaintiff a promotion and demonstrated disparate and discriminatory treatment based on her age and race in violation of Title VII and the ADEA," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is asking the court for reinstatement to her prior job and position or for an award of lost wages and benefits, back pay, front pay and all employment benefits. In addition, she seeks compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, economic losses, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

A jury trial is requested.

Coyle is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis and Stephen L. Townsend of Bush Lewis in Beaumont.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:11-cv-00479

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