Texarkana, TX 64° Thu H 85° L 62° Fri H 88° L 67° Sat H 87° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

Fired Cash America employee sues, says he faced discrimination

Fired Cash America employee sues, says he faced discrimination

May 31st, 2019 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

A lawsuit filed Thursday in a Texarkana federal court alleges a local man was fired from his job at a Cash America store after more than 17 years on the job because he complained about racial discrimination.

Texarkana lawyer Louise Tausch filed the suit on behalf of Kevin Bell in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern of Texas against FirstCash. The company merged in September 2016 with Cash America, according to the complaint. FirstCash owns three Cash America pawn shops in Texarkana, Texas, the company's website shows.

FirstCash did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.

Bell is an African American resident of Miller County. According to the complaint, Bell began working at Cash America at 1723 New Boston Road in Texarkana, Texas, in July 1998. Bell was promoted to assistant shop manager in January 1999 and to shop manager in 2002, the complaint states. Bell managed the same store from that time until he was transferred to a larger store at 2826 New Boston Road on Nov. 1, 2015.

Bell claims he was fired about six months later, in May 2016, because of his race.

Bell alleges he discovered in the fall of 2015 that white managers doing the same work as him and white managers he had trained, were earning greater salaries than him. Bell reported his concern about the allegedly disparate pay rates to a district manager in the late fall of 2015 and that he was promised the situation would be addressed.

Bell alleges he was transferred Nov. 1, 2015, to the larger, "problem store" with a small increase in pay that was still below that white managers received. Bell alleges he was terminated May 31, 2016, because of his race and his complaint regarding unequal pay and that his employer used a "substandard internal audit" as an excuse to fire him.

Bell claims the store he was managing was designed for nine employees, staffed only by five and that requests for additional manpower went unanswered. Bell alleges that a negative audit would typically trigger an investigation by the company, not an automatic termination of the manager. Bells alleges no investigation into the audit's findings was conducted.

The complaint alleges Bell was "set up to fail" so FirstCash could get rid of him after he complained of alleged discriminatory treatment.

Bell is seeking back pay, compensation for lost benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III. Court records show FirstCash has not yet been served with a copy of Bell's complaint.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com