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Age Discrimination Suit Filed Against The Federal Mortgage Association

A lawsuit has been filed in the Northern District of Georgia by Barrett & Farahany, LLP on behalf of their client. The lawsuit has been filed against Defendant Federal National Mortgage Association, doing business as Fannie Mae. The Defendant previously filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant Fannie Mae with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC subsequently issued a “Notice of Right to sue”, which allowed the Plaintiff to file the present legal action. A trial by jury has been requested by the Plaintiff based on the Defendant’s unlawful age discrimination and interfering with Plaintiff’s entitled benefits.

Defendant Fannie Mae employed the Plaintiff for more than fifteen years in the state of Georgia. In 2011, the Defendant hired a new supervisor and began the process of systematically terminating older workers within the company and replacing them with younger employees. Despite continued exceptional performance and positive work appraisals, the Defendant fired the Plaintiff with no explanation provided for reason of termination. This termination by the Defendant occurred just four months prior to the Plaintiff being eligible for lifetime health benefits.

This lawsuit shows basis of age discrimination of the Defendant, based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 510 of ERISA. The Defendant has willfully disregarded the rights of the Plaintiff with a direct violation of Title VII, resulting in depriving the Plaintiff of equal employment opportunity. The Defendant has acted in bad faith and adversely affected the Plaintiff’s status as an employee based on age. This reckless behavior has been in direct violation of the Plaintiff’s federally protected rights. Furthermore, the Defendant failed to take appropriate actions to remedy these unlawful employment practices. The lawsuit filed here within indicates that the Plaintiff is entitled to recover general and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled as a result of the discrimination by the Defendant.

 

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA ATLANTA DIVISION

RALPH IPPOLITO, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION d/b/a FANNIE MAE, Defendant.

Civil Action No.

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES

COMES NOW, Plaintiff, by and through undersigned counsel, and files this Complaint for Damages, and shows the Court as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. Plaintiff invokes the jurisdiction of this court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f).
2. The unlawful employment practices alleged in this Complaint were committed within this district. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1391 and 42 U.S.C. §2000(e)-5(f), venue is appropriate in this Court.

PARTIES

3.  Plaintiff is a male citizen of the United States of America, and is subject to the jurisdiction of this Court.
4.  Defendant Fannie Mae is qualified and licensed to do business in Georgia, and at all times material hereto has conducted business within this District.
5.  Defendant Fannie Mae may be served with process by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to its registered agent.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

6.  Plaintiff timely filed a charge of discrimination against Defendant Fannie Mae with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
7.  The EEOC issued a “Notice of Right to Sue” on November 25, 2013, entitling an action to be commenced within ninety (90) days of receipt of that notice.
8.  This action has been commenced within ninety (90) days of receipt of the “Notice of Right to Sue”.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

9.  Defendant Fannie Mae is now, and at all times relevant hereto, has been an employer engaged in an industry affecting commerce within the meaning of §701(b), (g) and (h) of Title VII and has employed more than the requisite number of persons for the requisite duration under Title VII.
10.  Ralph Ippolito was hired by Defendant Fannie Mae on November 10, 1997 as a Product Development Manager.
11.  Mr. Ippolito’s most recent position at Fannie Mae was as a Senior Pricing Manager.
12.  At the end of 2011, Fannie Mae hired Adam Glassner as Senior VP over Mr. Ippolito’s group.
13.  Not long after being hired, Mr. Glassner began the systematic process of terminating older workers.
14.  Mr. Glassner first targeted Mr. Ippolito’s manager, Harlan Jones (46), and replaced him with Mike Smale (28).
15.  Mr. Glassner then began targeting Mr. Ippolito (54) for termination.
16.  Mr. Ippolito was a good performer and consistently received positive performance appraisals.
17.  Despite Mr. Ippolito’s exceptional performance, Fannie Mae terminated Mr. Ippolito’s employment on April 10, 2013 citing performance problems.
18.  Fannie Mae terminated Mr. Ippolito’s employment four (4) months before his lifetime health benefits would have vested (valued at over $500,000).
19.  Fannie Mae did not provide Mr. Ippolito with an explanation regarding the reason for his termination.
20.  Although Fannie Mae purports to provide a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the adverse action, this reason is a pre-text.
21.  Fannie Mae interfered with Mr. Ippolito’s rights under his benefits plans when it terminated him based on his age.

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

COUNT I

VIOLATION OF TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964

22.  Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.
23.  Fannie Mae’s actions in subjecting Ralph Ippolito to different terms and conditions of employment constitutes unlawful discrimination on the basis of his age in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. and 42 U.S.C. section 1981A.
24.  Fannie Mae has willfully and wantonly disregarded Ralph Ippolito’s rights, and Fannie Mae’s discrimination against Ralph Ippolito was undertaken in bad faith.
25.  The effect of the conduct complained of herein has been to deprive Plaintiff of equal employment opportunity, and has otherwise adversely affected his status as an employee because of his age.
26.  As a direct and proximate result of Fannie Mae’s violation of Title VII, Plaintiff has been made the victim of acts that have adversely affected his psychological and physical well-being.

COUNT II

ERISA §510 VIOLATION

27.  Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.
28.  By its arbitrary and unlawful termination of Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant has caused the Plaintiff to lose long-term benefits, wage-alternates, and lost retirement benefits, and other fringe benefits and consequential damages.
29.  The Defendant’s actions were taken primarily for the improper purpose of interfering with Plaintiff’s ERISA rights or benefits.

COUNT III

CLAIMS FOR RELIEF UNDER CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1991

30.  Plaintiff re-alleges the preceding paragraphs as if set forth fully herein.
31.  Defendant Fannie Mae discriminated against Plaintiff and other employees, and in failing and refusing to take any appropriate remedial action to remedy the unlawful employment practices has not only deprived Plaintiff of equal employment opportunities, but exhibits malice or reckless indifference to the federally protected rights of Plaintiff.
32.  Plaintiff thus seeks compensatory and punitive damages pursuant to §102(a)(1) of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff judgment as follows:
(a) General damages for mental and emotional suffering caused by Defendant’s misconduct;
(b) Punitive damages based on Defendant’s willful, malicious, intentional, and deliberate acts, including ratification, condonation and approval of said acts;
(c) Special damages and/or liquidated damages for lost wages and benefits and prejudgment interest thereon;
(d) Reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation;
(e) Trial by jury as to all issues;
(f) Prejudgment interest at the rate allowed by law;
(g) Declaratory relief to the effect that Defendant Fannie Mae has violated Plaintiff’s statutory rights;
(h) Injunctive relief of reinstatement, or front pay in lieu thereof, and prohibiting Defendant Fannie Mae from further unlawful conduct of the type described herein; and
(i) All other relief to which he may be entitled.

Respectfully submitted the 21st day of February, 2014.

BARRETT & FARAHANY, LLP
_/s/_Tremain C. Mattress__
Amanda A. Farahany
Georgia Bar No. 646135
Benjamin F. Barrett
Georgia Bar No. 039586
Tremain C. Mattress
Georgia Bar No. 940529
Attorneys for Ralph Ippolito
1100 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 214-0120
(404) 214-0125 Facsimile
Amanda@bf-llp.com
Ben@bf-llp.com
TMattress@bf-llp.com