LOS ANGELES — A 72-year-old Asian man is suing a textile company supply firm for age and race discrimination, alleging he was told by a boss that he was “old and on his way out of the company” and eventually fired in 2022.
Antonio Amores’ Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against Groz-Beckert USA Inc. and its parent company, Groz-Beckert KG, alleges wrongful termination, harassment, age and racial discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and failure to prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Amores seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Groz-Beckert develops, produces and sells machine needles, precision parts, precision tools and systems for the textile industry. A company representative could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit brought Jan. 19.
Amores was hired in April 1995 as an area sales manager and was later promoted to sales manager of the sewing and knitting division, in which he developed relationships with sourcing networks, maintained contact with brand owners and end customers, grew brand awareness, and expanded Groz-Beckert’s market position, the suit states.
Amores’ managed accounts in Texas, the northern border states of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic, according to the suit.
In October 2021, Groz-Beckert hired John Rivett, about 30 years younger than Amores, as the plaintiff’s supervisor, and Amores was told to acquaint Rivett with Groz-Beckert’s accounts as well as his dealer and manufacturing business partners, the suit states.
The next month, the two were on an international business trip when Rivett told the plaintiff that Rivett was hired to take over the department because Amores was “old and on his way out of the company,” a statement that left Amores “shocked,” the suit states.
Although Amores complained to upper management about what Rivett allegedly said, no action was taken and Rivett began excluding Amores from Groz- Beckert’s business operations, the suit alleges.
Rivett told Amores during a February 2022 meeting that he was being fired because he was not fluent in Spanish and was no longer needed to handle Groz-Beckert’s California business, the suit states. Amores did not need to speak Spanish to perform his duties, the complaint further states.
When Amores told Rivett that California was only a small part of his sales area, Rivett responded that he had taken over the plaintiff’s other territories, according to the suit, which further states that Amores has suffered lost income and emotional distress due to his termination.