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Rams suit

Former St. Louis Rams employee alleges age discrimination, harassment

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Rams helmets

Rams players left their helmes on the sidelines for a walk-through period during a St. Louis Rams organized team activity at Rams Park in Earth City on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS • A former employee of the St. Louis Rams sued the team and an executive in federal court here Wednesday, alleging age discrimination and sexual harassment at the club.

In the second suit in less than a month alleging age discrimination, Lory Fabian, 56, claims that in recent years, Rams executives have been shedding “middle-aged women” in favor of those under 40 - “'young inexpensive grinders' who could handle the long hours of NFL employment.”

Fabian worked in various positions over the years, including as executive assistant to head coaches and executives, and was the “'go-to guy'. . . when an experienced and reliable person was needed for placement in a significant job vacancy,” the suit claims. She was fired from her job as alumni coordinator on May 21, 2011, the suit says.

The suit's claims single out former Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff, saying they systematically fired several employees over 40.

Demoff, the suit says, told Fabian that “no one liked her” and she was "too old for her job."

Fabian's suit also claims that she was subjected to unwanted touching by Bob Reif, the executive vice president for sales and marketing. Reif is a named defendant in the suit.

The suit says that the Rams retaliated against Fabian for complaining.

When she was fired, Fabian was less than a month away from her 55th birthday, when she would have qualified for health insurance benefits for 10 years, the suit says.

A Rams spokesperson did not immediately respond to calls and an email seeking comment.

Late last month, former equipment manager Todd Hewitt sued in St. Louis County Circuit Court, claiming he was 10 months short of early retirement eligibility that would have kicked in at age 55 when the Rams decided not to renew his contract.

Hewitt's suit cites the forced departures of the head of security, vice president of operations, director of player relations and a trainer, team photographer and skybox coordinator, all replaced by “significantly younger” people.

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