Man says his firing was retaliatory

Annie Cosby Dec. 22, 2014, 7:59am


A Texas man is suing over claims he was fired in retaliation for reporting racial slurs used by his supervisor.

John M. Raiford filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Oil States Energy Services, Oil States, Oil States Energy Services LLC, Oil States Management Inc. and Oil States International Inc., citing the Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Raiford was employed by the defendant companies when, on Oct. 12, 2011, his supervisor made a racist remark to him using a racial slur about a black employee. Raiford, who is white, says he was offended by the comment and reported it to human resources, but the supervisor continued to use the racial slur in the workplace, even after other employees made complaints.

Raiford says his supervisor confronted him and told him to be careful about whom he reported to human resources, then began to write Raiford up for frivolous work violations and gave him a long list of grievances on Oct. 20, 2011, just more than a week after Raiford complained of the racial slur.

The lawsuit states the company then fired Raiford on March 2, 2012, in retaliation for his opposition to discrimination and the use of racial slurs in the workplace. The defendants are accused of violating Title VII, which stipulates it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate or retaliate against an employees for opposing an unlawful employment practice, including offensive racial remarks.

Raiford says he was without work for a long time after the discharge, sustained economic damage due to lost benefits such as health insurance, and eventually had to leave his family for extended periods of time when he did find work.

Raiford seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including back and front pay, loss of benefits and medical expenses, attorney fees, interest and court costs.

He is represented by attorney Gregory S. Porter of Porter Law Firm in Tyler.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number: 2:14-CV-01004-JRG-RSP

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