HOUSTON — Two former employees are suing a Harris County company, alleging discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation.

Arnold Blake and Joel Deffebaugh, both of Harris County filed a lawsuit June 21 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Sulzer Chemtech USA Inc., alleging failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

According to the complaint, in 2015, Blake, a black fire watch/hole watch, and Deffebaugh, a mechanic, suffered adverse employment actions by the defendant, which favored Hispanic employees. The suit says the plaintiffs were paid less than Hispanics who were doing the same work, were treated less favorably because of their different race, were routinely given entry level or redundant jobs despite their experience and/or below their qualifications and being given shorter and less lucrative assignments. 

The plaintiffs allege Sulzer Chemtech discriminated against them on account of race and national origin, retaliated against them because of their complaints and ultimately, termination, based on alleged policy violations.

Blake and Deffebaugh seek a trial by jury, compensation for all damages, attorney fees, legal costs, expert fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and such other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by attorney Paul K. Stafford of Stafford Barrow PLLC in Dallas.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case number 4:16-cv-01781

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