UnderCover Waitress: Age Discrimination Lawsuit in Texas

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Age Discrimination Lawsuit in Texas

Real age discrimination lawsuits do happen. Demoted Red Lobster employees in Texas (and all of the fifty states) may wish to take note.

Nancy L. Regan was a waitress at Ryan's Family Steakhouse in Longview, Texas. According to the SE Texas Record: 


"Regan was hired by the defendant in Novenber 2004 as a server. According to the complaint, she claims that the restaurant violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by reducing her hours to approximately 13 work hours per week.

Regan claims she was terminated on June 18, 2011, in retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination, the suit states." 

Double-whammy. Remember, the anti-discrimination and civil rights laws are very clear; an employer may not retaliate against an employee who complains about discrimination or files a discrimination claim. Even if the employer is not guilty of discrimination, he or she may not retaliate. The retaliation itself is a violation of the employee's civil rights.

The Record continues to say:

"The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay; front pay; interest; damages for mental distress, emotional pain and suffering, embarrassment, severe disappointment, indignation, shame, despair and public humiliation; liquidated damages; punitive damages; attorney's fees; and court costs."

Regan is, of course, represented by a lawyer. This in itself may indicate that she has a good case. It is not unfair to surmise that, just maybe, she is not independently wealthy and does not have tons of money stashed away in the Cayman Islands with which to pay a lawyer hundreds of dollars per hour.

They lawyer may (and I do NOT know this) have taken the case on contingency. That means he will earn a portion of her winnings, if they win. If they lose, he many get nothing (depending upon the contingency agreement.) So, this lawyer is betting on winning because he thinks that Regan has a good case, or at least that is a reasonable assumption on my part.

I used to work for a Personal Injury lawyer. Almost all of his cases were contingency. He earned a third of the awarded monies, the treating physician earned a third, and the plaintiff kept a third. Therefore, he only took on cases with a good chance of winning. (In other words, the stereotype that uninjured people get rich filing these lawsuits is bogus. Lawyers don't like to waste their time on cases that will lose, and if you are not injured, you will lose.)

Anyway, there are free to inexpensive ways to inquire if you have a case. Some lawyers will offer a little of their time for free, such as a "free consult." Some don't because they can't; those in individual practice often can not afford to give away a lot of free time, but should be willing to discuss your situation to see if meeting with you is a good idea.

State lawyer referral services sometimes have rules such as "$25 for the first half-hour." If you go through the lawyer referral service, just have the $25 ready.

Your state's Attorney General and the EEOC are good places to inquire if it sounds like you have a case, and I believe there is no cost for this.


5 comments :

  1. The attorney may also be working on their pro bono credits.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for posting this..A dear co worker who is 52 and has been with the company for 20 plus years is getting demoted in the next few days- we actually now about and she does not- is that not grossly unfair? I'm just sick over it- she is alone and it will be hard for her to find another position and she really needs the benefits..I'm just dreading them telling her-it makes me want to cry...I'm going to give her this info-again, thanks for the post.

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    2. Thank you for spreading the word and I wish your friend well. A friend of mine mentioned that people with concerns about treatment at work may also contact their state attorney general's office about the situation. I think this is free and sometimes they act on your situation. Worth a shot!

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