John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 14, 2013, 1:40pm

HOUSTON - Claiming NiSource Gas Transmission and Storage Co. and Columbia Gas Transmission LLC fired her for raising issue with a demotion, Houston resident Brittany Russell has filed a lawsuit.

According to court papers filed Nov. 13 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, the defendants subjected Russell to disparate treatment because of her gender.

She worked for the companies from Aug. 8, 2007, to last March 1.

At the time of the events for which she sues, Russell was employed as director for customer services.

NiSource is now known as Columbia Pipeline Group Services Co.

The suit shows that Russell was reportedly removed from her executive position sometime last year when a "regime change" occurred.

Russell and three other women directors were informed that they would be "demoted to individual contributor status" in which they no longer have supervisory authority.

She asserts the moves "took place not as a result of any perceived performance deficiencies," adding her replacement was a man who had no previous experience in pipeline operations.

The original petition further asserts that the respondents treated the claimant's male colleagues favorably.

When she refused to accept a business manager position, it states, the defendants fired her.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Jennifer S. Wilson of Houston is representing Russell.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3353

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