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Oil Drilling Employee Fired for Being Old
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National Oilwell Varco

Summary: A supervisor threatened to fire older employees leading Maurice Goudeau to complain to HR about the comment. The 57-year old was ultimately fired as well.

The 57-year-old employee of oil drilling company National Oilwell Varco claims he was terminated for being “an old fart”. Maurice Goudeau was a maintenance supervisor for 18 years before he was fired in 2011. The company he worked for had been acquired by National Oilwell Varco in 2008, bringing a new supervisor that oversaw him.


This supervisor has commented to Goudeau that “there sure are a lot of old farts around here” before asking the age of two other employees and stating that he planned to fire them. The supervisor had also repeatedly called Goudeau’s clothes “old-man clothes”.

Goudeau took the complaint to the HR department. Soon after, several write-ups on his failure to perform job duties were added to his file that he was never told or warned about until he was fired. The other two employees that the supervisor has planned to fire were terminated as well.

He sued NOV for age discrimination and retaliation. The trial judge granted NOV’s request for summary judgement since they he was fired for poor work performance and insubordination not because he was old. Goudeau appealed the decision where the appellate court agreed with him. They found that he had provided enough evidence to show that NOV’s reasons for firing him were a pretext for discrimination.

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Goudeau and his attorney were very happy with the decision of the court so that they can now have a chance to fight the termination in court. They have been fighting for over four years just to get to this point.

Goudeau is represented by Alfonso Kennard of Kennard Blankenship & Robinson.

NOV is represented by Christopher Moore of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.




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