Court reinstates age bias suit against Iowa plant

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — An appeals court has ordered trial to determine whether the firing of the rendering superintendent at a Marshalltown pork processing plant was unlawful age discrimination.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit Friday filed by Lyle Ridout, who worked at the JBS USA plant for 40 years.

Ridout was fired in 2010 after superiors said he shouted and swore while discussing an equipment failure.

He was replaced with a younger worker who was later demoted due to performance. The plant then hired a 33-year-old worker as rendering superintendent, even though he’d been fired years earlier for displaying a mock Ku Klux Klan hood to a black employee.

The court says jurors should decide whether JBS’s claims that it fired Ridout for poor performance and insubordination were pretextual.

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