Fort Bend Co. woman one of black workers Hershey ordered to 'get rid of', suit says

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Nov 26, 2012

HOUSTON - The Hershey Co. is accused of racially discriminating and ultimately firing a Fort Bend woman who was one of its retail sales representatives, recent court documents say.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 15 in Houston federal court, Yolanda F. Turner alleges the defendant, doing business as Hershey Foods Corp., terminated her because of her African American heritage.

Hershey hired Turner in April 1998.

The suit claims "while an RSR is viewed as a position from which career advancement was likely, and despite being highly qualified, Turner was never promoted."

Turner says her manager, also an African American, told her in mid-2011 that he was ordered to "get rid of" her, adding the superior supposedly sacked two workers of the same ethnicity because there were "too many."

She further states that she complained to the respondent about the apparent mistreatment, however, the latter "then began to unduly scrutinize her work and investigate her in the hopes of finding a reason to terminate her employment."

According to the original petition, a manager was directed to follow the plaintiff to retail stores in which she was to make sales calls in an effort to discover any discrepancies with the company's visitation registration system.

It insists "no discrepancies were found," but Hershey dismissed the complainant in December 2011 on allegations she entered false information into the system to which she contends "was a complete fabrication created as a pretext for discrimination."

The suit explains that a couple of promotions occurred shortly after Turner's firing in question.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Charles H. Peckham with Peckham PLLC in Houston is representing Turner.

Case No. 4:12-CV-3365

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