Former employee sues Beaumont Housing Authority for racial discrimination

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | May 13, 2010

A relocation counselor with the Beaumont Housing Authority claims her former employer discriminated against her because of her race and gender.

She claims she was terminated from her position as retaliation for not performing job duties that were outside of her job description.

Alleging violations of her civil rights and acting as her own attorney, Dianne S. Simon filed a lawsuit against Robert Reyna and the Beaumont Housing Authority on May 10 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the complaint, Simon was told she was terminated due to insubordination. However, she argues the insubordination was justified and she lost her job as retaliation.

" I believe I was terminated because I am a black female and in retaliation for not wanting to perform duties that I was not trained to do and which were not in my job description," the lawsuit states.

Simon states the BHA Executive Director Robert Reyna told her to return overpayments for rent.

According to Simon, the rent payments were handled through a contract with another company. She states that the payments could not be proven to be correct and therefore, she refused to handle the money.

When she voiced her concerns over the matter, Simon states Reyna intimidated her and said, "he would handle me separately."

The plaintiff is asking the court to order the defendant to re-employ and promote her.

U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10-cv-00270

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