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Fired Costco Worker Claims Age Discrimination

A former manager of a Costco meat department has filed a lawsuit claiming that the company fired him because of his age.

Lawrence G. Wojcik filed the lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp. June 18 in United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, alleging violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Wojcik started working as a meat cutter in September 1988 and was later promoted to meat department manager. Wojcik claims that on February 9, 2012, he informed his employer that he was taking 60 days medical leave under the FMLA. When he returned to work after 30 days, he was immediately placed on suspension. According to the complaint, Wojcik’s employment was terminated on March 13, 2012. He was 60 years old at the time of his termination and had worked for the company for 24 years.

Wojcik claims that the company was attempting to create a younger workforce and that one manager in particular made numerous comments about not wanting older employees. According to the lawsuit, Wojcik had exemplary performance reviews, in which managers said that he was “outstanding” and “does an excellent job.”

A jury trial is demanded and damages are sought for lost wages and benefits, emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

Driller Sued for Breach of Contract

A drilling company has been sued by an oil and gas company in Texas alleging breach of a contract to dig three wells.

The lawsuit was filed by Conquistador Petroleum on April 5 against E&B Natural Resources Management Corp. and Francesco Galesi in Jefferson County District Court.

Conquistador claims that E&B failed to fulfill its contract to drill three wells on a 22-acre parcel of the North Port Acres Prospect, after the first well was found to be dry. According to the lawsuit, Conquistador spent $600,000 on seismic data for the property in 2006 and 2007 and $4 million more afterward.

According to the lawsuit, the two companies signed an exploration agreement on May 1, 2008 which called for E&B to drill three 10,500-foot-deep wells, with E&B’s performance guaranteed by Galesi.

The lawsuit states that Conquistador obtained a license allowing E&B to drill the wells, but the company failed to do so by the September 1, 2008 deadline. That deadline was extended, and the companies amended their contract such that E&B would drill two 16,500-foot-deep wells instead of the three shallower wells.

According to the complaint, after the first well was drilled in the fall of 2010 and was found to be dry, E&B failed to drill the second well and requested that the agreement be terminated.

Conquistador is seeking reimbursement of sunk costs of $2.3 million, as well as the $600,000 it spent obtaining seismic data.

Costco Manager Alleges Age Discrimination

A manager of a Costco meat department in Texas has sued the company, claiming that he was fired because of his age.

The lawsuit was filed by Lawrence G. Wojcik on June 18 in United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, naming Costco Wholesale Corp. as defendant.

According to the lawsuit, Wojcik started working as a meat cutter for Costco in September 1988 and was later promoted to manager of the meat department.

Wojcik alleges that on February 9, 2012, he informed his employer that he would be taking 60 days medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), because of heart issues. Wojcik actually returned to work within 30 days but was immediately placed on suspension. According to the lawsuit, Wojcik’s employment was terminated on March 13, 2012, at which time he was 60 years of age and had worked for the company for 24 years.

Wojcik alleges that Costco was trying to create a younger workforce and push out older workers. The lawsuit accuses Costco of violating the FMLA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

In the complaint, Wojcik alleges that he helped Costco open several new store locations in different states and that Costco considered him the top meat manager in Texas. According to the lawsuit, Wojcik’s performance was labeled “outstanding” on his final three performance reviews in 2009-2011. The complaint quotes a Costco manager’s assessment of Wojcik as saying he “does an excellent job” and “exceeds expectations in many areas.”

The lawsuit alleges that Wojcik was brought in to help open and manage the meat department at a new Costco location in Frisco, Texas, which was overseen by a manager in her late 30s. According to the complaint, this manager rejected an approximately-50-year-old qualified applicant for a meat cutter position, stating, “I have enough old people already – only so many ‘door positions’ available for you old people,” referring to workers who greet customers entering the store.

The complaint further alleges that the manager in question made frequent remarks to the effect that Costco had too many older workers, and made an unsolicited comment to Wojcik indicating that he was perhaps too old to perform his job properly.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and seeks damages for lost wages and benefits, emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

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