An Illinois man is suing a railroad business, alleging age discrimination led to his termination.
Harrold G. Smithee filed the lawsuit Dec. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court against Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.
According to the complaint, Smithee worked for Terminal Railroad from June 8, 1962, until he was allegedly unjustly terminated on Sept. 2, 2014.
Beginning in 1990, Smithee claims he took a position as a railroad engineer, the suit says, and became eligible for retirement Dec. 24, 2002, when he reached the age of 60 and completed 30 years of service.
Once Smithee became eligible to retire, the lawsuit says, the defendant's managerial employees began asking the plaintiff when he planned to retire. The suit also says the defendant has coerced other older employees to retire.
On Sept. 2, 2014, the defendant terminated the plaintiff's employment because of the plaintiff's age, the suit alleges. Further, the stated reason for the plaintiff's termination did not seem to apply to younger, similarly situated employees who were not terminated, the suit says.
Smithee seeks actual damages and relief necessary to make him whole, including back pay, lost wages, inconvenience, emotional upset, pain and suffering, court costs and attorney fees to total at least $50,000. He is represented by attorney Edward J. Szewczyk of Callis, Papa & Szewczyk PC of Granite City.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-1640