SHERMAN – A 45-year-old man filed suit the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas alleging age and race discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation and wrongful termination against his former Lewisville employer.
The defendant in the case is Prosero Inc., doing business as Spinnaker. And the plaintiff is Whis Benjamin Grant Sr., who is black and lives in Denton County and he held a warehouse position with the company. The suit was filed June 21.
In the suit filed by Houston attorney Hiram McBeth, Grant is looking for a jury trial and relief for the six counts cited in the complaint.
According to the complaint, Grant was hired as a warehouse worker II in 2014 and in the following year he noticed he was being treated differently than other younger, non African-American employees. Grant immediately complained to supervisors, management and human resources, however, nothing was done, according to the complaint.
"The real reason Spinnaker terminated the plaintiff on March 6, 2017, was because he was an African-American over 45 years old who complained about certain discriminatory treatment," the complaint stated.
The complaint cited a number of employees, who allegedly "hazed, bullied, harassed, insulted, ridiculed, humiliated and disrespected the plaintiff."
During his tenure with the company, Grant alleges employees gave him wrong directions, told him to slow down his work, changed documents to show he was not doing his job and changed documents to show he was making mistakes. Because of those complaints, Grant alleged he received written counseling discussions and was verbally reprimanded.
On December of last year, Grant complained about his performance review, saying it was inaccurate. Grant said he was told nothing could be done about it because it came from the corporate office.
The suit also alleges that Spinnaker hired less senior, less educated and less experienced workers for the warehouse worker II position and they also hired younger individuals than Grant. Spinnaker also did not hire any black employees and it is alleged the company kept private notes on Grant. Those notes allegedly contained derogatory, false information on the plaintiff.
The suit also claims Grant suffered a number of adverse employment actions including changes in the working conditions, changes in job duties, given more work to accomplish, given a bogus performance review, no chance for a raise and denied benefits
"As a result of the continuous discrimination and harassment combined with the adverse employment actions, plaintiffs’ stress level was elevated which exacerbated plaintiffs’ medical conditions," the complaint said.
After being terminated in March, Grant filed charges of discrimination with the the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The suit claims the plaintiff suffered losses including front and back pay, court costs, legal expenses, expert fees, mediation fees, attorney fees, mental anguish, humiliation and emotional distress.
The suit also claims there is a age discrimination scheme at Spinnaker. The suit alleges the company began a scheme to terminate higher paid, senior employees and full-time employees to be replaced by younger, less experienced and part-time employees.
The scheme was designed to save the company money when it came to paying salaries, retirement benefits, health insurance and other benefits.