Woman says employer terminated her due to husband's race

Kelly Holleran Oct. 10, 2014, 3:37pm

A Caucasian woman has filed suit against her former employer, alleging she was ultimately terminated because she was married to a black man.

Andrea Blanchard claims she was working for defendant Fast Eddie's pool hall and sports bar in Beaumont and received an award for having the highest sales for the company.  According to the complaint filed Aug. 28 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas, Blanchard won a vacation with other managers and the company's owners as part of the award.

"Plaintiff brought her African American husband along," the suit states. "During the vacation, the owners provided an award to her husband for the best suntan."

In April 2013, Fast Eddie's director of operations, Darren Pickering, told Blanchard she was too black for Beaumont, the complaint says. He would also make comments about the bar being "too dark" and told Blanchard she should not date black men, she claims.

Although Blanchard complained about Pickering's comments, nothing was done, according to the complaint. Instead, she was terminated on July 11, 2013, the suit states.

"The defendant subjected plaintiff to adverse employment actions by harassing, denying employment opportunities, disciplining her differently than employees of other races, and ultimately in terminating her employment," the complaint says.

In her complaint, Blanchard seeks reinstatement to her prior job, plus back and front pay, compensatory and exemplary damages, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kenneth W. Lewis and Stephen L. Townsend of Bush Lewis in Beaumont will be representing her.

U.S. District Court case number: 1:14-CV-432.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Jefferson County District Court. 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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