Port Arthur Housing Authority sued for racial discrimination by worker

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 27, 2012, 7:25am

An African-American housing counselor has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Port Arthur Housing Authority that claims she was denied promotions and raises.

Berlinsia Gallentine filed suit against The Housing Authority of the City of Port Arthur and director Seledenio Quesada on Aug. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Gallentine, an African-American, was hired by the defendant in July 1997 and worked her way up to the position of Housing Counselor, the suit states.

Gallentine claims that a Hispanic woman was promoted and received pay raises above Gallentine's. Further, Gallentine claims that she received an increased workload, but not help or support, the suit states.

"It is Plaintiff's belief that Director Quesada was trying to create an unbearable workload for Plaintiff that would force her to quit, because she is black and because she complained about the discriminatory treatment she received from Director Quesada," the lawsuit states.

The defendant is accused of racial discrimination and violating the Housing Authority's policies

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, lost benefits, compensatory damages, mental anguish, punitive damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Gallentine is represented by Cade Bernsen and David E. Bernsen of The Bernsen Law Firm in Beaumont. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:12-cv-00417

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