Federal government sues Orkin for favoring LDS applicants

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Thursday it has filed a federal age and religious discrimination lawsuit in Arizona against the Orkin Pest Control company.

The lawsuit accuses Orkin of discriminatory hiring practices in denying jobs to older workers and favoring Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints applicants.

The EEOC lawsuit arose out of a charge of discrimination filed by 51-year-old Thomas Kokezas, who claimed that Orkin's agent asked his age, then cut a job interview short.

The lawsuit also alleges Orkin advertised for a recruiter "to assist in hiring LDS missionaries for seasonal employment."

According to the EEOC, such advertising was illegal because it shows a preference for a particular religion.

Rollins Inc., the parent company of Orkin, issued a statement Thursday.

Company spokeswoman Martha Craft in Atlanta said Orkin values its 8,000 hardworking co-workers and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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