Beaumont man's suit claims termination was racially motivated

Kelly Holleran Dec. 16, 2008, 5:34am

A Beaumont man has filed suit against Nighthawk Vacuum Services, alleging racial discrimination and wrongful termination.

Al Victoria claims that while he worked at Nighthawk, the company's employees used ethnic slurs, made racially inappropriate comments and made offensive or derogatory comments.

The constant talk "created an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and interfered with Mr. Victoria's work performance," the suit filed Dec. 9 in Jefferson County District Court states.

Even a manager at Nighthawk admitted to a supervisor that he heard the company's employees using ethnic slurs, making racially inappropriate comments and making offensive or derogatory comments aimed at Victoria, he claims.

When Victoria, who had worked at the company since July 2007, asked to be compensated for work he performed on a 24-hour shift in March, his supervisors refused to pay him, according to the complaint.

So Victoria filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, the suit states.

"In retaliation for filing a complaint, Nighthawk terminated Mr. Victoria," the suit states.

Because of his firing, Victoria claims he has lost wages and benefits, suffered emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish and a loss of earning capacity.

Victoria is seeking unspecified actual damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief to which he is entitled.

Shane A. McClelland of Simon, Herbert and McClelland in Houston will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd of the 172nd District Court.

Case No. E182-827

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