Port Arthur hotel sued by terminated employees who complained about sexual harassment

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 2, 2011, 6:36am

Holiday Inn-Park Central

A sister and brother have filed a lawsuit against a Port Arthur hotel claiming they lost their jobs for complaining about sexual harassment.

Claiming violations of their civil rights, Marie Brown and Wesley Devereaux filed suit against DRD Pat Hotel Ltd., also known Holiday Inn Port Arthur-Park Central, on July 28 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Brown started working for the Holiday Inn as a cook beginning in 2009. She states that on almost a daily basis she was subjected to sexual harassment by another cook. She complained to her supervisor but the supervisor did nothing, according to the suit. After several months of harassment, she complained to the general manager.

Brown claims she was told that she did not need to come in to work that day due to an incident with the offending co-worker. The following day, she was issued a written warning for failing to show up to work. According to the lawsuit, DRD finally fired the sexual harasser, but a few weeks later she was also terminated.

Devereaux, who is Brown's brother, was approached by the general manager and asked why Brown had not come to work. Devereaux informed the manager that Brown was fired by the kitchen manager. A couple of months later, Devereaux was terminated. He claims he was fired for stating that his sister lost her job because she made complaints about sexual harassment.

Brown accuses the defendant of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and illegal retaliation and Devereaux accuses the defendant of illegal retaliation.

Brown and Devereaux are seeking damages for lost wages and benefits, punitive damages, interest, court costs, interest and attorney's fees.

The plaintiffs are represented by Robert (Bobby) Lee and Carmen Artaza of Lee & Braziel in Dallas and Joel Cohen of the Law Offices of Joel E. Cohen of Dallas.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:11-cv-00353

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