HOUSTON - Alleging a supervisor of hers at her former employer racially discriminated against her prior to her termination, Harris County resident Olivia Wright has filed a lawsuit.
Recent court papers filed Oct. 23 in Houston federal court show Wright, a Caucasian woman, experienced apparent mistreatment from her mentor, Sefra Wiley, while employed with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as a specialist.
Wright insists Wiley, who is African American, was nicer and more helpful and accommodating toward her black colleagues as opposed to her.
DFPS fired the plaintiff on grounds she performed her tasks and responsibilities poorly, however, the suit asserts the defendant "intentionally engaged in unlawful employment practices involving [Wright] because of her race."
The agency hired the complainant to assess families with abused or neglected children in June 2010.
According to the original petition, DFPS placed Wright under Wiley's tutelage but Wiley reportedly expressed how "p****d that [she] got stuck with this white girl" in front of the plaintiff and other employees within earshot.
It further explains how Wiley, who is not a defendant in the case, wrongfully accused Wright of violating the defendant's late arrival policy as well as ordered her to complete an assessment way earlier as opposed to policy.
Wright adds she complained about her superior's "hostility, favoritism and racism" only for the "obvious, senseless tension" between the parties to worsen, stating Wiley did not assist her with her work after her father's passing but helped out another black employee who was caught up.
After an episode in which Wright supposedly failed to submit a study to Wiley, DFPS dismissed the plaintiff "for failure to perform her job duties, among other reasons" though the suit contends the complainant was not given the option of resigning.
"The plaintiff was not given equal treatment, and that unequal treatment was motivated by race," it argues.
A jury trial is requested.
Attorney Adam Allen with Parker Allen PLLC in Houston is representing Wright.
Case No. 4:12-CV-3163