Women claim termination from assisted living facility for reporting coworker

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Nov 26, 2012

HOUSTON - Alleging they were fired after they reported a potentially violent co-worker to their superiors, Harris County residents Latericia A. Reese and Katherine J. Tolliver pursue legal action.

Recent court documents filed Nov. 15 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas state Diversified Housing Service Inc. did not properly address the plaintiffs' complaints about the co-worker who allegedly threatened Tolliver.

According to the women, the defendant, doing business as Colonial Oaks, instead disciplined Tolliver and ultimately terminated her and Reese.

The defendant employed the plaintiffs, both females of African American descent, at its assisted living facility in Pearland. Tolliver worked as a dietary aide with Reese as her direct supervisor.

The suit states that Gary Goodman, a white male, and Tolliver were working together on Jan. 31, 2010, when Goodman took a prepared set of silverware and ignored Tolliver's pleas to leave it alone.

Goodman, who is not a defendant in the case, allegedly "became angry and irate" and proceeded to violently threaten his co-worker, which prompted the acting supervisor to dismiss him from the premises.

A police report was filed and the defendant's executive director was informed, however at a meeting between the parties, the plaintiffs' concerns were overlooked as Tolliver earned a suspension while Goodman did not face any disciplinary action, the original petition says.

Colonial Oaks then terminated Tolliver and Reese but reportedly retained Goodman.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by attorney Aisha J. Young with The Taft Law Firm PC in Houston.

Case No. 4:12-CV-3371

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