SE Texas Record

Friday, December 6, 2019

Houston school district employee alleges discrimination


By Carrie Bradon | Oct 9, 2019

Discrimination 14

HOUSTON — A black employee is suing the Houston Independent School District, alleging she was discriminated against and demoted without cause.

Denise Ware filed a complaint Sept. 3 in Harris County District Court against Houston Independent School District, alleging discrimination.

According to the complaint Ware was employed by HISD for six years, nine months. The plaintiff allegedly reported during the 2018-2019 school year that she was being retaliated against and discriminated against by a Julia Dimmitt in the HISD human resources department. Dimmitt, allegedly had also been discriminatory toward Ware's daughter and another African-American woman who worked at HISD. 

Dimmitt, the suit alleges, learned there had been complaints filed about her, and on Nov. 15, 2018 she met with Ware and told her that one of five positions would be terminated due to restructuring, including Ware's post of general manager. The plaintiff said she believed that she was the one who was being alluded to being terminated and reported a request for an internal investigation for retaliation and discriminatory treatment by Dimmitt within the workplace. 

The plaintiff said she was informed later in 2018 that she was being demoted and that her salary was being decreased by $21,000 a year. Ware says she was officially demoted May 15, 2019 and her salary decrease took effect July 1. The plaintiff said she filed a charge of discrimination against the HISD, alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of her race as well as because she complained about unfair treatment in the workplace.

Ware seeks trial by jury, damages between $200,000 and $1 million, reinstatement of her HISD general manager position, attorney fees, court costs, interest and all just relief. She is represented by attorney Larry Watts of Watts & Company Lawyers in Missouri City.

Harris County District Court case number 2019-62863

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