Black woman sues TDCJ for discrimination, alleges noose hung in plain view

Carol Ostrow May 15, 2015, 2:24pm


A Louisiana woman brought a lawsuit against a state government agency for alleged violation of her civil rights in 2014.

Kenisha Boyd of Shreveport filed a complaint against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice of Austin, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas May 11, claiming workplace harassment in July through October 2014.

Boyd, an African-American female, was hired by the defendant as a parole officer in 2005 and served in various regional offices. Upon returning to the Marshall District where she had previously worked, the plaintiff alleges that a noose hung in plain view in a colleague’s office.

According to the suit, Boyd responded by filing a complaint to EEOC, explaining the uneasiness of seeing a noose in the work environment. The co-worker allegedly removed the noose shortly after.

Boyd claims that after that point she was treated differently by three colleagues, including the one who had displayed the noose. Specifically, the suit states that she was monitored closely, reprimanded daily, accused of mistakes on false pretexts, and written up frequently and incorrectly.

Asserting that no white employees were treated thusly, Boyd claims that the defendant restricted her schedule, denied her overtime privileges, placed her on suspension without pay in July 2014; and finally terminated her Oct. 9, 2014. She again filed with the EEOC, charging the defendant with discrimination and retaliation.

Citing emotional distress and damage to her reputation, Boyd seeks punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Shelly Davis-Smith of the Davis Law Firm in Houston.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case 2:15-cv-00708

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