John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 10, 2013, 6:02pm

GALVESTON - A Baytown man claims Poly-America Inc. fired him for taking leave in response to an on the job injury, recent court documents say.

In a lawsuit filed in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Alfred Thomas III argues that he was singled out among workers in similar situations because he is black.

Poly-America employed Thomas in its shipping and receiving department at the time of the purported events which are the focus of the litigation.

The suit explains that a supervisor operating a golf cart rear-ended the plaintiff, who was driving a forklift, on Feb. 22, 2012.

Thomas says he sustained injuries to his back, hips and backside for which a company doctor placed him on leave.

Another physician ordered he return to work on light duty, however, the defendant successfully requested the doctor to make an upgrade to regular duty, the original petition says.

The plaintiff went on leave again after he showed he was unable to perform regular duties because of substantial pain only for Poly-America to terminate him shortly afterwards.

He alleges that other workers who were not black experienced similar circumstances but were retained, adding he was paid less as well as ridiculed for having a speech impediment.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Nikeyla Johnson of the Johnson Law Firm in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1675

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