Woman alleges sexism prevented her from advancing in employment

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Oct 10, 2013

HOUSTON - A woman who works for GDF Suez Energy North America Inc. initiated legal action against the company over what she perceives is sexism at her expense.

According to a lawsuit filed Oct. 9 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Alicia Thornhill worked for the defendant for eight years without ever advancing in employment while her male co-workers were placed in higher positions.

Thornhill, who was hired in May 2005, is the lone female in the respondent's information technology server department.

Recent court documents show that some of the colleagues who were promoted ahead of the complainant were either inexperienced, unqualifed or guilty of an on-the-job infraction in contrast to her own work history.

"The plaintiff has been denied multiple opportunities to further progress the skills required for her job," the original petition says.

"While the males in the IT department receive prompt approval of their requests to receive different types of training across the United States, the plaintiff's requests fail to be approved and often times are outright denied."

Thornhill says the company subjected her to different discipline standards than her male counterparts, asserting the defendant spared them.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Brad Peek of the Law Offices of Keith Lovelace in Houston is representing the plaintiff.

Case No. 4:13-CV-2976

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