Small business sued after family member allegedly makes racial slurs

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 6, 2010, 2:52pm

TYLER-An employee of a family-owned business has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit, claiming the owners failed to reprimand a family member for making racial slurs.

Jimmie L. Johnson Jr. filed suit against Posey Signal on Sept. 29 in the federal Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

Johnson is a black male who was employed as an assistant signalman for Posey Signal, a farm labor services company located in Overton, according to the complaint.

The suit states Johnson was hired, managed, supervised and worked with company President Loretta Posey, Vice President John C. Posey, Thomas Posey and John Lee Posey.

Johnson states he was referred to in a derogatory manner by Thomas Posey during an orientation class on April 28, 2009. Johnson claims he complained of the behavior but no substantive action was taken to prevent further comments.

The plaintiff states other employees made racial slurs and inappropriate race-related jokes.

Johnson filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After telling the owners of the complaint, Johnson alleges he was advised that he was being laid off.

The defendant is accused of employment discrimination and retaliation based on race.
The former employee is asking for an award of compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages, court costs, attorney's fees and interest.

Johnson is represented by Karen R. Roberts of Roberts Law Offices in Tyler. Jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis is assigned to the case.

Case No. 6:10-cv-00509

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