Woman files discrimination suit over sexual orientation comments

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Nov. 1, 2010, 6:00am

TYLER-A female employee has filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against her former employer after a supervisor made inferences and comments about the woman's sexual orientation.

Alleging violations of her civil rights, Mary Jimenez filed suit against H & W Industrial Services Inc. Oct. 18 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

Jimenez states she was hired by the defendant in February 2008 to clean highway rest areas.

When she arrived at the job site, she was informed by a supervisor that "he did not work with women." She states she went home and called the company, which sent her to a different rest area to work. Two men were hired to perform work at the original job site rest area.

According to the allegations, about a month later, the same supervisor questioned Jimenez stating, "We all want to know, just what are you?"

Jimenez states she informed the man that she was a Texan, married, and had a daughter.

The supervisor responded stating that her life was a cover and she was obviously gay, and at other times used derogatory terms, the suit alleges.

Jimenez states she reported the actions to the company and the supervisor was terminated.

However, after the supervisor's termination, Jimenez states she was subjected to retaliatory conduct by another supervisor and was fired from her position.

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation found that the defendant's reasons for Jimenez's job transfer and discharge were not credible or supported by available evidence.

The defendant's actions caused the female employee mental anguish, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff is seeking actual, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and interest.

Jimenez is represented by Susan E. Hutchison, S. Rafe Foreman and Kern Lewis of Foreman, Lewis & Hutchison of Grapevine. Jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 6:10-cv-00551

More News