Firestone employees file class action over racial discrimination

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 10, 2012, 4:47am

Several Firestone Polymers employees have filed a lawsuit that claims that they were subjected to racial discrimination in the form of racial slurs and supervisors who promoted workers based on the color of their skin.

Paul D. Brooks, Ellis E. Byrd, Jonathan E. Greenaway, Erick Guillory, Samuel W. Johnson, Wayne E. Johnson, Michael Spencer and Ricky Ruffin filed suit against Firestone Polymers, also known as Firestone and Bridgestone Americas Inc., on June 29 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The employees, who are black, claim that they were not promoted because of their skin color and, instead, the employer chose a less-qualified white person.

The defendant is accused of ignoring their "superior experience and educational backgrounds and the exemplary work ability they had already exhibited during their employment with the company, in favor of untrained white men with no other knowledge and virtually no experience working in the new positions for the company."

According to the lawsuit, the Orange County plant has a history of racism, including denying training opportunities and channeling Blacks into the manual and less desirable jobs than whites.

The defendants are accused of racial discrimination in its employment practices of rates of pay, upgrading, promotion, and selection for training.

The workers are seeking an award of economic and compensatory damages, exemplary damages, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Beaumont attorney Craig J. Schexnaider. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 1:12-cv-00325

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