Food services worker claims racial discrimination prior to termination from school district

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Oct 22, 2013

HOUSTON - A woman who used to work for the Houston Independent School District as a food services employee claims HISD fired her for complaining about racial discrimination.

Houston resident Samanthy Brooks sued the school district in Houston federal court on Oct. 21, stating the defendant mistreated and ultimately terminated her because she is black.

HISD employed the plaintiff "for approximately 19 years" prior to the events in question.

During that time span, Brooks also looked after her grandson who was reportedly diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

Court papers explain that the claimant "chose, when able, to work at schools" attended by the boy "so she could be able to help."

According to Brooks, the principal of one of those schools "often harassed her by making demeaning and intimidating comments" to her.

The complainant adds her department's area manager "generally and consistently spoke in a demeaning way" to her and other African American and minority employees.

Said manager was supposedly told not to say inappropriate and unlawful things anymore , but the harassment and discrimination continued, the original petition says.

Brooks asserts HISD subsequently transferred her from her grandson's school, insisting its principal also mistreated her to where she had to take medical leave for stress and anxiety.

The respondent dismissed Brooks for purportedly violating its policies and code of conduct to which the plaintiff counters was a retaliatory move in response to her discrimination complaints.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Marjorie A. Murphy of Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-3097

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