Ex-airline worker sues United, cites civil rights violation

Carol Ostrow May 15, 2015, 2:48pm


A Harris County woman sued her former employer alleging unlawful employment practices in 2013.

Lanita Joy Fears of Houston filed a complaint against United Airlines of Dallas in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas May 14, claiming wrongful termination in March 2013.

Fears worked for United Airlines from 1998 until her March 4, 2013 dismissal. The suit states that when she found a coat in a terminal’s street area on Nov. 23, 2012 and attempted to hand it over to airport staff, no one would take the item. Consequently, she alleges that she placed it atop lockers in the locker room.

Court documents indicate that after the coat remained untouched for several days, Fears allegedly put it into her car to take it to the lost and found, but forgot about it. She received a call from the police regarding the coat on Dec. 27, 2012. Upon returning to her vehicle, she was surprised to find it there and informed the officers that the coat was in her possession and promptly returned the coat.

The suit states that Fears was immediately fired and was refused an appeal process.

The plaintiff alleges discrimination based on her race and gender. Maintaining that she was treated differently than other employees—some of whom had committed intentional theft and had not been reprimanded—Fears claims lost income, anguish, humiliation and embarrassment and damage to her credibility and future employability.

She seeks actual, general, exemplary and compensatory damages, back and front pay, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees; expenses and costs.

She is represented by Ellen Sprovach and Gregg Rosenberg of Rosenberg & Sprovach in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case 4:15-cv-01305

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