Molly English-Bowers Nov. 18, 2015, 3:33pm


A Jefferson Parish man is suing Amtrak, alleging age discrimination.

James McDaniel filed a lawsuit Nov. 12 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana against National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak.

The plaintiff began working for Amtrak in 1988 as a train attendant, the suit states, and by 2006, he was promoted to a management position that required he relocate to New Orleans.

The complaint states Amtrak went through a round of layoffs in late 2013, and the plaintiff's position was eliminated. He continued to apply for similar positions with the defendant but was repeatedly not hired, the lawsuit states. Instead, the suit alleges, younger employees got the jobs.

The plaintiff's termination, per the layoffs, was effective Dec. 2, 2013. At that time he was 58. McDaniel used his union seniority that entitled him to a non-management position, which he took. This resulted in a substantial decrease in compensation and benefits, the suit says, yet he continued applying for management positions but never was hired.

On Oct. 7, the plaintiff filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge of discrimination and is currently filing in federal court, charging age discrimination.

McDaniel seeks trial by jury, damages including back and front pay, lost benefits, compensation for emotional distress and anxiety, punitive damages, reinstatement to a management position at Amtrak, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by attorneys Lisa Brener and Chelsea Brener Cusimano of Brener Law Firm in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-05845-HGB-SS.

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