Melody Dareing Apr. 30, 2014, 3:49pm

A hospital worker is suing her employer on claims the facility favored African-Americans over Hispanics.

Elida Briones filed the lawsuit April 8 in the United States District Court for the Southern District Houston Division against Memorial Hermann Health System, doing business as Memorial Hermann Hospital System, citing civil rights violations.

The lawsuit states Briones, who is Hispanic, began working at the hospital in 2007 and was employed in the emergency center business office until she was fired on July 9, 2010.

In 2010, she worked alongside an African-American man who regularly violated hospital policy and did not work while on duty, the complaint alleges. Their supervisor, another African-American man, allowed this to continue without any discipline, according to the suit.

At some point, Briones claims she felt threatened by her co-worker, reported his behavior to human resources and filed a police report. Briones says she was terminated on the grounds she had made a racial comment about her co-worker.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated and found there was discrimination in favor of African-Americans over Hispanics at the facility, the suit  states.

Briones is seeking damages that cover back pay, loss of wages and benefits in the past and future, mental anguish and emotional distress, liquidated damages, compensatory damages and court costs.

She is being represented by Sidd Rao of Shellist, Lazarz, Slobin LLP.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District Houston Division Case No. 4:14-CV-00938

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Houston Division. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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