A Harris County man is suing Chevron Phillips, alleging discrimination.
Sherwin T. Wright filed a lawsuit Aug. 14 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, alleging race/ethnicity/color discrimination and discriminatory discharge.
According to the complaint, since 2008, Wright worked as the only African-American electrician in the maintenance department of the Chevron Phillips plant in Pasadena until a 2011 motorcycle injury caused him severe brain trauma. Part of Wright's post-accident work protocol, developed by his doctors, was that he only work as part of a two-person team at minimum, the suit says.
The lawsuit states in September 2014, Wright's operator ordered him to work alone on a procedure that normally necessitates another person. On Oct. 8, 2014, Wright was accused of improperly performing one part of the procedure, for which he was suspended without pay without being informed how long the suspension would last, according to the suit.
The suit states Wright emailed the company's CEO after three weeks without notice of when the suspension would lift, and the next day, a human resources representative called Wright and lifted the suspension. The suit alleges HR representatives and persons involved in levying Wright's suspension were not pleased he had contacted the CEO, and they displayed retaliatory actions on several occasions thereafter, culminating in Wright's wrongful termination over a claim that he did not call in to report he would be absent from work based on a severe sickness.
The complaint alleges records confirm Wright did call in to report he would be out sick, and, further, that his wrongful suspension and termination were acts of racial discrimination.
Wright seeks back and front pay, lost benefits, other damages and court costs, plus attorney fees. He is represented by attorneys Marrick Armstrong of Armstrong Legal, and Robert L. Woods of Woods Law Firm, both in Houston.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-02363.