PONCHATOULA, La. (WGNO) — A Ponchatoula manufacturing and distribution company is under fire on claims of violating the Equal Employment Opportunity federal law.

A former employee of J&M Industries, Inc., a company known for manufacturing tarps and covers, is seeing the company after reportedly being fired allegedly due to her age. The lawsuit states the employee was approaching her 65 birthday and in the days leading up to it, a manager repeatedly asked her about retirement.

The manager asked several questions such as:

  • “When are you going to retire,”
  • “Why don’t you retire at 65,”
  • “What is the reason you are not retiring?”

After the employee stated that she was not looking to retire the company gave her notice that her position as a purchasing agent had been “eliminated due to economic uncertainty”, according to court documents.

The company reportedly hired a replacement for her exact position, a 30-year-old man, less than a month later.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit with allegations of Age Discrimination in Employment which the commission says ” prohibits discrimination against individuals forty or older because of age.”

“An employer cannot fire someone because of age and cannot pressure an employee to retire
simply because she turns 65,” said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office.

Further proceedings such as the next step in the lawsuit have not been released.

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