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Racist remarks and unfair pay lead to a discrimination claim

In most cases, employees receive equal pay and treatment regardless of any protected status characteristics, but that is not the case everywhere. A black woman who worked for a Texas tax assessor's office is claiming that she was the victim of workplace discrimination that eventually led to her losing her job. She claims that she had complained to the tax assessor about racist remarks from her white coworkers as well as not receiving consistent training.

The plaintiff asserts that she also took her complaint about the remarks to her supervisor, but she was referred back to the tax assessor who said that people had the right to their opinions. He also told her that he would speak with her coworkers to lessen those types of conversations, but he wouldn't tell them to stop. Her disparate treatment continued, and she eventually was transferred to another office where she did very well and was told that she should have received a raise on her next work anniversary.

When the time came for her raise, she claims that she received a small one, but when she spoke up about the amount, she was reminded of absences she had taken when she was first hired. She claims that other white workers had taken similar absences without all of the hassle that she had received. The final straw came when a customer reported that the plaintiff was rude, and when she tried to defend herself, she was apparently yelled at and shut down. After reporting the incident to human resources, she was told that it had been decided that, due to poor attendance, issues with supervisors and unsatisfactory work performance, she was being fired.

The plaintiff claims that human resources would not give her an explanation and would not allow her to tell her side of the story. She discovered later that a white person had filled her position. Texas workers who believe that they have suffered unfair treatment due to discrimination have the right to file claims against their employers. In successfully navigated cases, the workers may receive financial relief based upon the circumstances of their cases.

Source: setexasrecord.com, "Former assessor employee accuses Jefferson Co. of racial discrimination", Annie Cosby, Jan. 8, 2015

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