Hispanic supervisor claims racial discrimination in workplace

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 15, 2011, 8:55am

An Hispanic supervisor has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit that claims he was not provided the same rewards or punishments as black and white supervisors.

Claiming violations of his civil rights, Johnnie W. Garza filed suit against Trinity Industries Inc. on Aug. 11 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Trinity Industries, an industrial and transportation construction services company, is accused of intentionally discriminating against Garza because of his Hispanic race and national origin.

Garza states that the defendant would provide benefits such as lunch trips, pizza parties and golf outings to the black and white supervisors but would intentionally exclude the Hispanic supervisors.

According to the allegations, Trinity Industries applied different standards to Garza with regard to termination. Black and white supervisors were not terminated for the same or even greater alleged infractions, Garza states.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for lost pay, costs of job search, loss of employment benefits, pension, retirement benefits, insurance coverage, vacation, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, economic losses, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Garza is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis of Bush Lewis in Beaumont. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 1:11-cv-00375

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