Health club employee claims racial discrimination over supervisor's 'fried chicken' jokes

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 26, 2011, 4:34am

SHERMAN - Following jokes about fried chicken and mustard greens, a fitness instructor for an Allen health club has filed a federal lawsuit accusing his employer of racial discrimination.

Claiming violations of his civil rights, Ronald L. Braxton filed suit against Life Time Fitness Inc. on April 13 in Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.

According to court records, Ronald L. Braxton, an African-American fitness instructor, alleges he was a victim of racial discrimination. Braxton states he was treated differently than his co-workers and was singled out for punishment for actions that other instructors were not punished for.

The plaintiff states his supervisor made "fried chicken" and "mustard green" comments and jokes.

After he learned the conduct violated law and Life Time's policies, Braxton reported the conduct, and claims his supervisors began looking for a reason to fire him in retaliation. He was terminated Sept. 22, 2009.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, non-pecuniary losses, interest, punitive damages, lost wages and benefits, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

Braxton is acting as his own attorney and has requested a jury trial.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 4:11-cv-00199

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