John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 19, 2013, 12:44pm

HOUSTON - Houston resident Chrystal M. Mathis is suing her former employer, claiming the company forced her to resign in retaliation for her complaints about racial discrimination.

Mathis filed a lawsuit against Redi Carpet Inc. in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on Dec. 16.

Redi Carpet previously employed the plaintiff, who is black, as a credit specialist from June 2012 to a few months ago.

Court papers explain that Michel Fortier, the defendant's corporate credit manager, mistreated Mathis because of her race while she was under his tutelage.

According to the suit, Fortier told the complainant he "lived in the ghetto and every one of his neighbors was African American all of whom were on welfare or on crack."

Fortier's remarks in question were brought to the attention of Redi Carpet's human resources department, but the former's friendship with the corporate controller impeded the grievance process, it asserts.

The original petition further shows Fortier, who is not a defendant in the case, provided support and encouragement to non-black employees while those like the claimant were berated and belittled.

Mathis went on leave sometime in July only to return to "a very cold and distant working environment."

She claims Fortier disciplined her despite failing to give her proof of her supposed "deficiencies" as well as evaluated her job performance in a manner "she did not agree was fair or accurate."

Her request for a salary increase was also denied, the suit says.

Feeling the defendant singled her out for abuse, Mathis tendered her resignation on Sept. 13.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Katrina Patrick of the Law Offices of Katrina Patrick in Houston is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3676

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