Enbridge Energy accused of discrimination

Andrea Dearden Sep. 8, 2014, 10:26am

A former Enbridge Energy employee alleges she was discriminated against because she is an African-American female. 

Kenya Thompson filed the discrimination complaint against Enbridge Employee Services Inc. of Houston, Enbridge Energy Partners, Enbridge Energy Co. Inc. and Enbridge Energy LP on Aug. 8 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. 

Kenya Thompson says she is an African-American woman hired by Enbridge Energy in March 2006 at an annual salary of $34,000. In July 2007 she was promoted to a credit analyst position and her pay increased to $40,000 a year, according to the lawsuit. Thompson says annual merit increases brought her salary to $41,600 in April 2009.  

According to the complaint, Enbridge hired Ryan Bowker, a Caucasian male, to also work as a credit analyst. The man was reportedly an internal transfer and was paid $54,000 annually. Thompson says at her next pay and performance review following the hiring, her pay was increased to $48,000. 

In June 2011, Enbridge allegedly hired another Caucasian male, Jeff Simon, to replace Bowker who was transferred to a new role in a different area. Thompson says Simon was offered an annual salary of $56,000 while she was making nearly $5,000 less. 

Thompson says she also was unfairly denied opportunities for outside training. She says Enbridge refused to pay for her to go to conferences but paid Simon's room, board, travel expenses and conference registration fees so he could attend. 

In July 2012, Thompson says she resigned from Enbridge citing an "unlawful difference in treatment" between her and her male, Caucasian coworkers. 

Thompson accuses the defendants of race discrimination and sex discrimination. She asks to be awarded an unspecified amount of money in actual, compensatory and exemplary damages. 

Attorneys Nasim Ahmad and Delana Cline of The Woodlands represent Thompson. 

The case number is Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case 4:14-cv-02287.
This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at 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 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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