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Former Texans Security Official Jeff Pope Files Federal Lawsuit Claiming Firing Based on Race

Jeff Pope, a former security official for the Houston Texans is looking to take the team to court. According to the Houston Chronicle, Pope has filed a federal lawsuit in federal district court against the Texans. He was fired by the franchise back in May after being hired in 2017. Pope has requested "unpaid overtime, damages and attorney fees under the Fair Labor Standards Act."

Pope, who is black, said he worked over 40 hours per week and he worked 12 to 16 hours per day seven days a week during his time with the Texans. Pope also claims he was required to work home and away games, training camp and he also had to work overnights.

He previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging he was fired because of his race.

"Plaintiff was required to spend the night at a hotel with players in order to tend to whatever needs players may have and provide security before game day," the lawsuit stated. "Plaintiff would accrue overtime hours during these overnight stays, but Plaintiff received no pay for those hours worked during those overnight hours. Plaintiff is entitled to overtime at one-and-one-half times his regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty in a work week.

"Defendant did not pay Plaintiff one- and one-half times his regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of forty per week that accrued during overnight hours for home and away games, as well as for training camp. Defendant failed to accurately record and report the hourly pay on its payroll records and failed to properly pay Plaintiff for hours over forty hours a week that accrued during overnight hours for home and away games, as well as for training camp."

The Texans have previously denied the allegations, saying he "fired for job performance issues, including falsifying payroll and overtime records."

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"We have just been made aware of Mr. Pope's claim," the Texans said in a statement. "We do not comment on pending litigation. The Houston Texans do not tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind."

This news comes on the heels of the Texans abruptly firing general manager Brian Gaine back in June. The team hired Gaine back in January 2018 and he signed a five-year contract.

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