Sonic employee files racial, gender discrimination lawsuit

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 2, 2012, 4:53pm

A fast food restaurant employee is suing her employer for gender and racial discrimination after co-workers made sexually explicit remarks and racial slurs.

Tyesha Renfro filed suit against Buna Texas SDI on March 30 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Renfro is a black female employee who worked at defendant's Sonic Drive-in restaurant located in Buna.

According to the lawsuit, Renfro's co-workers would show her explicit pictures and would make sexually explicit comments and physical sexual simulations towards her. In addition, the general manager and other employees would make racial jokes, Renfro states.

Renfro claims she repeatedly complained of racial and sexual harassment to management but nothing was done to eliminate the behaviors.

She alleges that shortly after complaining of harassment to the general manager and notifying the defendant that she intended to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Council she was terminated on Jan. 28, 2011.

The defendant is accused of violating Renfro's civil rights.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, reinstatement or front pay, emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Renfro is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis and Stephen L. Townsend of Bush Lewis PLLC in Beaumont. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 1:12-cv-00157

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