SE Texas Record

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Black employee claims supervisors allowed racial discrimination in BASF's Beaumont plant

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Apr 10, 2012

A former employee of BASF's Beaumont facility has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit claiming a racially hostile environment and failure of his supervisors to respond.

Paul H. Mitchell filed suit against BASF Corp. on April 3 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

Mitchell, an African American, was hired in January 1992 to work at the defendant's Dimathanine plant in Beaumont.

The defendant is accused of intentionally discrimination against Mitchell because of his race in violation of his civil rights by racially harassing, denying employment opportunities and by treating plaintiff different than employees of other races.

According to the lawsuit, racial discrimination is prevalent at the Beaumont plant, forcing the company to specifically create a written policy prohibiting nooses in black employees' lockers. The suit claims that two of Mitchell's coworkers made a noose and displayed it to him.

As a result, Mitchell filed an internal complaint and reported the incident to the unit manager.

The coworkers were written up for their behavior but were allowed to stay on their shifts, the suit states.

"These actions have caused both physical and psychological harms, eventually causing plaintiff to lose his job with defendant," the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is asking the court for reinstatement for his prior job and position or if impossible, for an award of back pay and front pay, compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, economic losses, exemplary damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Mitchell is represented by Kenneth W. Lewis and Stephen L. Townsend of Bush Lewis, PLLC in Beaumont and Thomas A. Peterson of Peterson, Petit & Peterson in Beaumont.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:12-cv-00162

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