The manager of a CVS pharmacy in Nederland was told she was fired for failing to secure company assets during a hurricane evacuation, but she alleges the real reason for her termination was because she is black.
Yvonnie Williams filed suit against CVS on March 17 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.
In early 2008, CVS assigned a new district manager to Williams' area. The plaintiff states her first incident with the district manager occurred in August, when she obeyed the county-wide mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Gustav. Williams said her supervisor's reaction was rude and he mandated that the store ignore the evacuation order.
According to the complaint, the district manager did not treat a white store manager in the same manner.
The store was damaged during the storm and when Williams returned she states that she requested maintenance to make the necessary repairs. However, the repairs were not made before another evacuation order was issued for Hurricane Ike a few weeks later in September 2008.
During this time, the plaintiff states her district manager made negative comments about her store and her management style to other managers and CVS employees.
Less than a week after the second storm hit, Williams was told she was fired for failing to secure company assets by not reporting the damage to the store.
Williams was employed by CVS for more than 28 years, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff is seeking damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, injunctive relief which would reinstate Williams to her former position, lost income, attorney's fees, costs, and interest.
Attorney Larry Watts of Watts & Associates in Missouri City is representing the plaintiff.
Jury trial requested.
U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the litigation.
Case No 1:10cv00156