Female machine operator claims termination due to complaints of sexual harassment

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 5, 2013, 9:25am

LUFKIN - A female machine operator has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was terminated for complaining about sexual harassment. 

Carolyn Ruffin filed suit against Lufkin Industries on Jan. 29 in the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division.

Ruffin, 38, was employed by Lufkin Industries as a machinist in the Power Transmission Division from May 27, 2012, until she was terminated on Aug. 24, 2012.

She claims the discrimination started when she was transferred to operate the Giddings and Lewis Boring machine on about July 8, 2012.  In addition to other harassment, Ruffin’s co-worker made remarks about women not belonging in a machine shop. She claims she complained to her supervisors but no action was taken.

According to the lawsuit, Ruffin was terminated the day after complaining about the sexual harassment to the company vice president.

The defendant is accused of violations of Title VII for sexual harassment, sex discrimination and retaliation.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, lost income, and damage to her reputation, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, interest and court costs.

Ruffin is represented by Curtis B. Stuckey of Stuckey, Garrigan & Castetter Law Offices in Nacogdoches. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 9:13-cv-00024

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