Welder claims he was fired for complaining about racism

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 24, 2012, 5:34am


HOUSTON - A Houston man claims he was fired from National Oilwell Varco for complaining about racism on the job, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed July 12 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas asserts Manasseh Simmonds lost his job as a welder because he told his superiors and the defendant's human resources department about a foreman subjecting him to "harassing conduct."

The defendant hired Simmonds in January 2005.

Simmonds says the company brought in Luis Stuckey in December 2008 to serve as a foreman, explaining Stuckey threatened to fire him on their first day working together.

The plaintiff, who was reportedly "shocked, confused and threatened" by the encounter, notified the proper channels.

According to the original petition, Stuckey stepped up his mistreatment of Simmonds following the complaint.

"He would harass Simmonds about his work performance even though Simmonds' performance had not been an issue before," the suit says.

"Foreman Stuckey demanded Simmonds complete his work within impossible time-periods and he threatened Simmonds that Simmonds should do whatever he directed him to do even if it were wrong."

Simmonds further alleges Stuckey, who is not a defendant in the suit, increased his workload and snapped when asked if it would result in a pay increase by saying, "You are a black man making more money than me!"

The plaintiff then reported the foreman to HR again and proceeded to gather witnesses to support his allegations only to be fired on Apr. 1, 2009, for being "deficient in his performance with defendant."

Consequently, he seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Marjorie A. Murphy with The Murphy Law Practice in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:12-cv-2109

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