African-American supervisor sues ExxonMobil alleging racial discrimination

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Dec 9, 2013

An African-American supervisor for Exxonmobil has filed a discrimination lawsuit that alleges he was fired because co-workers thought he was making too much money.

Westley Pollard Jr. filed suit against ExxonMobil Chemical Co. on Dec. 2 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division. 

Pollard was employed for 18 years by ExxonMobil (XOM) at the Beaumont refinery as a step-up supervisor in the Olefins Unit.  In addition to his regular duties, he was given special assignments to develop materials to train refinery employees, according to the suit.

In his regular and supervisory assignments, Pollard worked a 48-hour weekly schedule, which provided premium pay for overtime work exceeding 40 hours a week, the suit says. During his special assignment, Pollard worked at the Beaumont refinery and also at the Baytown refinery and claims he spent a substantial time completing assignments in the evenings at home.

He states he was terminated after the defendant asked a second XOM employee to investigate Pollard’s time. Pollard claims he was “discharged and wrongfully accused by XOM because of his race, and the reason XOM asserted for the firing was demonstrably pretextual.”

The defendant is accused of violating Pollard’s civil rights.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of $300,000 in consequential damages and punitive damages, lost pay and benefits, damage to personal reputation, humiliation, emotional distress, serious injury to his health, loss of enjoyment of life, and diminished earning capacity, attorney’s fees, court costs, and interest.

Pollard is represented by David T. Lopez of David T. Lopez & Associates in Houston.  A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:13-cv-00695

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