PA hospital employee sues after racist joke during awards ceremony

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 28, 2010, 6:54am

After working 30 years for Christus Hospital St. Mary in Port Arthur, Jada Fobbs and her husband attended a ceremony to recognize long-time employees.

But instead of a happy occasion, Fobbs claims an incident at the awards ceremony led to her becoming a victim of retaliation by her supervisor.

Acting as her own attorney, Jada A. Fobbs filed suit against Christus Hospital St. Mary and Betty Bean on June 18 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Fobbs alleges her supervisor harassed her, failed to provide training and retaliated against her after her husband complained about a racial joke.

The incident occurred during the ceremony in which Fobbs was receiving an award for her 30-years of employment.

According to court records, the administrator from one of St. Mary's sister hospitals was mixing up names and years while he handed out of awards.

Fobbs claims the administrator apologized and then said he was "acting like a black man without an education."

The suit does not indicate the race of any of the parties.

Fobbs states that everyone was astounded by the man's words but it was her husband who asked that the man be removed from the stage, according to the complaint.

About a week after the incident, the administrator resigned from his position. Fobbs states that it was shortly after this that her supervisor began retaliatory actions that included denying her equal access to training that a white co-worker was receiving.

Fobbs claims that work conditions became unbearable and she retired from her position.

She is seeking an undisclosed amount of damages, costs and attorney's fees.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10cv00351

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