HOUSTON - The executive chef at a Deer Park golf course has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming he was fired for taking time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Salvador Aceves claims he took leave after he was subjected to disparate treatment that he alleges caused him to suffer health problems, according to the suit filed Feb. 4.

Aceves, who is of Mexican origin, began work at the city's Battleground Golf Course in 2006. He states that his first supervisor was supportive, but her successor mistreated him, according to the suit.

The suit alleges that the new supervisor called Aceves' salary into question while the city's Parks and Recreation director referred to him as "stupid, a liar and a thief."

Aceves says the discrimination took a toll on his health, and that he had "no alternative" but to exercise his FMLA rights, according to the suit.

Aceves began leave on July 24, 2012, but when he returned to duty about a month later, the city suspended him, the suit alleges. The suit also states that on Aug. 16, 2012, Aceves went to the hospital to request additional time    on his leave, but then received a telephone call that he had been terminated.

A subsequent appeal for his job failed, he claims.

The suit says Aceves's replacement was a white male.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Melissa Moore with Moore & Associates in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-265

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