Man files lawsuit against former employer, alleging age discrimination

By Kelly Holleran | Aug 11, 2014

A Texas man over the age of 60 claims his former employer discriminated against him due to his age.

Miguel Cortes filed a lawsuit July 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division against Brand Energy Solutions.

In his complaint, Cortes alleges his supervisor at a job site at the Lyondell Plant in Deer Park began to harass and humiliate him due to his age beginning in December. Both Cortes and his supervisor, Luis Sandoval, were employed by Brand Energy Solutions.

Cortes claims Sandoval would mock him by acting as if he were an old man and would make comments directed at Cortes. Even though Cortes claims he would work at the same rate as his fellow employees, Sandoval would urge him to work faster, according to the complaint. He would also assign Cortes with tasks that were not within his job description, the suit states.

Frustrated with Sandoval's treatment, Cortes scheduled a meeting with his supervisor and the plant manager to discuss his behavior. The supervisor and manager, however, threatened to terminate both men if they failed to resolve their issues, the suit states.

Sandoval continued similar treatment toward Cortes shortly after the meeting, the complaint says. On Feb. 20, Sandoval wrote Cortes up and told him he would be transferred to day shift, telling him he would be replaced by a younger worker, the complaint says. After refusing to sign the slip and attempting to contest the transfer, Cortes was told to return to the plant Feb. 24 to discuss the matter, Cortes claims.

When the plaintiff arrived to the plant Feb. 24, he learned his group would not be there and was told to return the following day, according to the complaint. However, the meeting was being held at another location the following day, and Cortes could not figure out where it was, the suit states.

As a result, the plaintiff left because he believed he had been discharged rather than transferred as originally represented, the complaint says. Thus, the plaintiff suffered an adverse employment action and was discharged or constructively discharged by the defendant on or about Feb. 20.

Cortes accuses Brand Energy Solutions of age discrimination and of retaliating against him under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

Because of his job loss, Cortes lost wages and benefits and suffered mental anguish and emotional distress, the suit states.

Cortes seeks actual, liquidated and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

He is being represented by attorney Adolph Guerra of the Law Offices of Adolph R. Guerra Jr. in Houston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division case number 4:14-cv-02147

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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