Housekeeping employee alleges race, age discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Aug. 6, 2015, 2:07pm


A Longview woman is suing her former employer, alleging unlawful employment practices.

Francisca Messer of Longview filed a lawsuit July 17 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Vidhata, also of Longview, alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, Messer is a Hispanic female older than 40 who was working for the defendant for more 13 years at the time she was forced to resign. The suit says she was subjected to harassment and discrimination based on her race and age as her supervisor insisted Messer and another Hispanic staff member speak only English in pre-shift meetings, as well as telling Messer that she was too old to perform her duties. Moreover, the supervisor hired a white male under the age of 40 who had no previous hotel housekeeping experience to take on Messer's duties in June 2014, according to the suit.

In addition to race and age discrimination, the lawsuit faults Vidhata for intentionally failing to provide Messer with overtime pay when she worked more than 40 hours in a given work week.

Messer seeks unpaid wages and overtime compensation, actual and compensatory damages, liquidated damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorney William S. Hommel Jr. of Hommel Law Firm in Tyler.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number 2:15-cv-01292-JRG.

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