Port Arthur carpenter files gender discrimination lawsuit

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 20, 2012, 11:27am


A female carpenter working at the Motiva plant in Port Arthur has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit claiming she was subjected to numerous sexual comments.

Diana Wilkerson filed suit against PCL Industrial Construction Co. on July 13 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Wilkerson was hired by PCL around Jan. 10, 2011 as a journeyman carpenter at its worksite in the Motiva refinery in Port Arthur.

According to the lawsuit, Wilkerson states she was subjected to frequent unwelcome sexual comments and conduct on the job. She claims she filed complaints with her foreman, general foreman and human resources department.

Wilkerson's complaints were "laughed off" and she was told she was being "paranoid," the suit states.

In March 2011, the defendant allegedly initiated a "massive layoff" but Wilkerson claims she was the only employee elected to be laid off.

The defendant is accused of intentionally discriminating against Wilkerson in violation of her civil rights by creating a sexually hostile work environment and ultimately terminating Wilkerson because of her gender.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for reinstatement, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, exemplary damages, attorney fees and court costs.

Wilkerson is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis of Bush Lewis in Beaumont.

A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 1:12-cv-00350

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