A Harris County woman is suing her former employer, alleging unlawful discrimination and employment practices.

Kerri Byars filed a lawsuit July 27 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against CGG Veritas, doing business as CGG, alleging violations of the Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, sometime after CGG acquired Furgo (where Byars began working in July 2008) in February 2013, Byars, an African-American, was subjected to a racially offensive work environment in which her supervisor and manager would make demeaning statements and comments related to her race. She also experienced harsh treatment, including one incident in which she was cornered in a conference room during a meeting, the suit says.

The lawsuit states Byars took medical leave statutorily protected under the Family Medical Leave Act after she complained of the hostile work environment to a human resources executive in August 2013.

Byars alleges the investigator who was hired to look into the situation didn't address her complaints but rather encouraged her to voluntarily resign and possibly negotiate a settlement package with CGG. Moreover when she returned to work in September 2013, after taking FMLA leave, Byars says her supervisor aggressively confronted her and pounded on the desk questioning her actions. The hostile work conditions caused her take a second leave of absence, the suit says.

The lawsuit says after Byars filed discrimination charges in late March 2014 she was terminated a couple of days later.

The plaintiff alleges CGG engaged in discrimination and unlawful retaliation with malice and with reckless disregard of her federally protected rights.

Byars seeks back and front pay, compensatory damages, attorney fees, court costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorney David J. Quan of the Law Office of David J. Quan in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-02154.

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