MHMR employee sues for wrongful termination

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 21, 2012, 7:49am

HOUSTON - Asserting her termination from Mental Health and Mental Retardation of Harris County was the result of her complaints about harassment, Yvette Hand is pursuing legal action.

Hand's suit against MHMR, filed Aug. 9 in Houston federal court, states the defendant discriminated against the plaintiff because of her age and sex prior to reportedly dismissing her on July 14, 2011, while she was on family medical leave and short term disability.

MHMR hired the complainant, 40, as a licensed professional healing arts therapist.

Recent court documents state Hand was responsible for "much cost savings for MHMRA throughout her efforts during her period of employment" and received superior ratings on her job reviews, adding she had never received a negative review on up until last year.

According to Hand, MHMR, through her superior in its organization, "engaged in a course of conduct which was greatly demeaning and humiliating to (her), creating a hostile workplace."

An internal complaint submitted in December 2010 says said superior's demeanor to Hand "even in front of co-workers was one where his verbal, physical and mental abuse of the plaintiff had caused her to suffer severe depression and anxiety, which eventually led to the plaintiff's hospitalization."

The original petition further alleges the defendant and "others it enlisted" to harass Hand into voluntary resigning came up with false reasons to fire her.

The plaintiff's supposed dismissal during her leave was discriminatory, it says.

Hand claims the respondent hired a younger and less experienced individual to replace her.

Consequently, she seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney Donald T. Cheatham of Houston is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 4:12-cv-2396

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