Teen welder's helper files sexual discrimination lawsuit against inspector

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 30, 2011, 2:54am

MARSHALL - A teenage welder's helper has filed a lawsuit against his former employer after he was subjected to vile sexual harassment by a welding inspector.

Joshua Renfroe filed suit against Price Gregory International Inc. on Aug. 24 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

At 19 years old, Renfroe began working for Price Gregory as a welder's helper on a pipeline project in northwest Louisiana in June 2009. After about two months of work, a welding inspector began making vile, sexually harassing statements to Renfroe, physically touched Renfroe in an offensive manner and offered to co-sign a vehicle note for Renfroe in exchange for sex.

Renfroe states he complained to his supervisors but no action was taken against the welding inspector. The inspector found out about the complaints and allegedly threatened Renfroe. Following Renfroe complaints, he was demoted to a job that did not involving using his welder's helper skills, according to the plaintiff's complaint.

The defendant is accused of violating Renfroe's civil rights by allowing employment discrimination based on sex, by allowing sexual harassment and other sexual discrimination.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for lost income, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, mental pain, suffering, fear and damage to his reputation, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Renfroe is represented by Kenneth C. Goolsby of Boon, Shaver, Echols, Coleman & Goolsby in Longview.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00373

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