John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 8, 2013, 11:53am

HOUSTON - Houston resident Julie Hunt claims Christus Health terminated her because of her race, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit was filed against the Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system on Dec. 20, 2012, in Harris County District Court.

It was removed to the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on Feb. 22.

Christus hired Hunt to a position which involved dealing with insurance policyholders' accounts in June 2006.

Hunt explains she then sought a higher-level position with increased pay so she could "improve her financial situation and career path," but management informed her that she must take and pass an insurance test in order to be eligible for said position.

The suit says the examination was forced upon minority applicants while other non-minority candidates were exempt.

Nevertheless, Hunt successfully passed the required test, interviewed for the job and was hired.

She later learned "to her surprise" that her hiring was a "lateral" move with no increase in pay or status.

The complainant excelled in her position for the next four years until her manager at the time was fired and replaced by someone else, the suit says.

According to the original petition, the new manager supposedly mistreated many of her employees, including Hunt.

In June 2011, the superior accused the plaintiff of insubordination for not responding to an e-mail as well as talking back to her.

Hunt insists she did not challenge the manager to write her up as the latter claimed, but the defendant fired her three days later.

A number of white employees would get into heated exchanges with their superiors, but were spared disciplinary action or termination, the suit says.

Meanwhile, the complainant apparently had difficulty finding new employment after being let go from Christus.

She consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Jorge Borunda with Radack and Associates PC in Houston is representing Hunt.

Case No. 4:13-CV-480

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