African-American laborer files discrimination suit claiming daily harassment

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Mar 10, 2013

An African-American laborer has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against his employer, claiming that he was subjected to daily harassment which ultimately led to his termination when he refused to take a third drug test in one day. 

Harry Williams filed suit against Bo-Mac Contractors Ltd. on March 1 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Williams was hired by Bo-Mac in 2008 as a laborer at the Port of Houston and was laid off in March 2009. He was rehired in June 2009 for work on a marine crane barge at the Motiva chemical plant in Port Arthur.

Williams claims he was subjected to racially derogatory comments and when he complained about the comments he was allegedly told to “put his big boy pants on.”

He claims he was terminated in August 2010, allegedly for declining to take a third drug test in one day.

According to the claims in the lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conducted a full investigation and found that Williams worked in a “racially hostile work environment and was subjected to abuse on nearly a daily basis.” The report also stated that Williams was subjected to “racial comments and threats.”

Bo-Mac is accused of race and color discrimination and retaliation.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for mental anguish, humiliation, emotional distress, damage to his professional reputation, punitive damages, back pay and front pay, interest and court costs.

Williams is represented by Ian Scharfman of Scharfman Law Firm in Houston.

A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 1:13-cv-00126

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