Matt Russell Jul. 22, 2014, 11:35am

A man is suing his former employer, alleging he was denied advancement because of his race.

J.R. Edmonson filed suit July 18 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against VAM USA LLC.  According to the complaint, Edmonson began working for the defendant Jan. 28, 2008, as a utility worker. During his employment, the plaintiff was an excellent employee as reflected by his performance reviews, but alleges he was continuously denied advancement training because he is African American, the suit states. In 2011, Edmonson began performing the duties of a buck-on operator, and passed VAM's testing for the position in 2012. Despite having the experience and certification for the position, VAM refused to pay Edmonson the wages of a buck-on operator, the filing states.

On Sept. 20, 2013, VAM terminated the plaintiff's employment and falsely accused him of using profanity and acting inappropriately toward non-African American employees. VAM's intentional, malicious or recklessly indifferent acts or omissions caused Edmondson significant damages, including, but not limited to, emotional distress and lost back and front pay, the suit states.

The defendant is accused of discrimination and harassment. 

Edmonson is seeking actual damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages, consequential damages, compensatory damages, special damages, interest, fees, lost back wages and lost front wages. He is represented by Houston attorney Shane A. McClelland of Simon Herbert & McClelland LLP.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-02054. This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. 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 represents only one side of the story.

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