Ben Hart May 21, 2014, 4:16pm

A Smith County woman is suing her former employer over claims she was unlawfully terminated from her position.

Aretha Y. Cofer filed a lawsuit May 6 in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants P.A., CVC Cardia Cath Lab PLLC and East Texas Medical Center.

The suit alleges gender discrimination, sexual harassment, mental abuse, breach of contract, defamation, retaliation in the workplace, common law fraud and wrongful termination.

Cofer claims she is an African American who worked for 13 years for Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants in Tyler County. According to the suit, Tyler Cardiovascular came upon hard times financially and had to cut costs by freezing pay for employees.

Cofer alleges one of her coworkers was promoted even though Cofer's base pay didn't increase for more than five years.

According to the suit, Cofer was subjected to condescending, demeaning and sexual remarks and gestures by other coworkers. She alleges that when she reported the incidents, the harassment only intensified.

Cofer claims she experienced embarrassment, fright, grief, shame, humiliation and other reactions after the report and finally her position was terminated on March 6. She alleges there was no reason for her termination.

Cofer is seeking damages, back pay of salary and benefits, liquidated damages, forward pay of salary and benefits, attorney's fees, interest and court costs.

She is being represented in the case by Dallas attorney Hiram McBeth.

Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case No. 6:14-cv-00432

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Tyler Federal Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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