A woman is suing over alleged racially motivated workplace harassment.
Anita M. Whitefield filed suit July 18 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Hewlett-Packard Co.
According to the complaint, Whitefield worked for the Compaq Computer plant in Houston as an assembly worker from 1992 to 1997, when HP took over Compaq and laid her off.
She then worked for 15 years for Texas Instruments before returning to the HP plant on March 12, 2012, as a plant supervisor, the suit states.
During the following months Whitefield was consistently harassed by her coworkers, including verbal mocking and coworkers removing her belongings from the work area. The suit also lists several instances when coworkers harassed her for what she wore to work and for not attending social gatherings outside of work hours.
After attempting to resolve the aforementioned issues with supervisors, she was told on Aug. 19, 2013, she would not be allowed on the premises and assigned work at a different plant.
Following some time in the new position, Whitefield went on company-forced medical leave Sept. 25, allegedly due to her taking anti-depressants, but attempted to return Oct. 7, the suit states.
The plaintiff claims she tried repeatedly to work through the issues with human resources, but she was terminated June 11 for lack of job performance, according to the filing.
The plaintiff alleges the harassment and unwillingness of supervisors to assist her were a direct result of her being African American. She is suing on the basis of discrimination.
Whitefield is seeking back pay and front pay, actual damages, compensatory damages, costs, exemplary damages, interest and an injunctive relief to reinstate her.
She is represented by Dallas attorneys W.D. Masterson and D. Elizabeth Masterson of Kilgore & Kilgore PLLC.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 4:14-cv-02047
This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.