KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Jury selection will begin later this month for a lawsuit targeting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon for age and gender discrimination.

In a story for the Kansas City Star, reporter Jason Hancock says the lawsuit originates from the firing of Gracia Backer from her job at the Missouri Department of Labor in 2013.

He outlined her allegations against her former boss, Labor Director Larry Rebman, whom Nixon appointed.

“[Rebman] created a really hostile work environment for older employees, especially older female employees, in a range from just verbal abuse to ordering Ms. Backer to allegedly give poor reviews to some older workers to try to force them out,” Hancock says.

Hancock adds Backer and fellow Labor Department employees tried to inform Nixon for years about the situation. Gov. Nixon claims he was never aware of Backer’s discrimination complaints.

“They’re alleging that the governor had to know this was going on or, if he didn’t, his staff was willfully trying to create this plausible deniability by not passing information,” Hancock says.

Jury selection in the case is expected to begin September 30th.

Jason Hancock was a guest on the Mark Reardon show.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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