JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency is alleging discrimination in her firing by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.
Gracia Backer was replaced in March as director of the Division of Employment Security in Missouri's labor department. Her ouster came at the same time that Nixon appointed labor department director Larry Rebman to a different job.
Documents provided Monday to The Associated Press show Backer has filed a discrimination complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. The complaint claims Backer was fired after raising concerns that Rebman was discriminating against her and other older and female employees.
Rebman told the AP on Monday that he didn't discriminate against Backer.
The governor's office never announced why Backer was replaced as division director.
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of the Missouri Department of Transportation is suing the agency, claiming age discrimination.
A lawsuit filed in Buchanan County says 64-year-old Elaine Justus worked at MoDOT's northwest district from 1997 until early 2013, largely in community relations.
The complaint says MoDOT developed a cost-cutting plan that included lists identifying employees by age and tenure. The lawsuit also says a northwest district manager created a similar list sorted by retirement eligibility and called it the "Buzzard List."
The St. Joseph News-Press reports the lawsuit says in 2011, a manager asked Justus her age. Justus says she was told a month later she wouldn't be reappointed. She says she was later demoted and was terminated in January.
MoDOT spokesman Bob Brendel says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.