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Did a coworker's prank lead to a discrimination claim?

When anyone is hired for a position, the last thing that they think may will happen is that their supervisors and co-workers will treat them unfairly. By law, a Texas employer cannot use discrimination as a tool to determine advancement opportunities or treatment of a worker in any way. Unfortunately, this type of practice can still go on behind closed doors. Unless this activity is brought out in the open, there is a strong chance that it may continue.

A vendor service worker at Nabors Industries claimed that she was receiving discriminatory treatment based on her race. While she worked there, she felt that her coworkers were subjecting her to an uncomfortable work environment. A Mammy Doll, which is a black doll dressed in servant clothing and a symbol of black slavery, was reportedly placed in her office by fellow employees. There also was a picture placed in her office that depicted the Ku Klux Klan, which was apparently taken down by management.

She also alleged that her supervisors engaged in discriminatory behavior when it came to her advancing in the company. Several times she had applied for positions for which she believed she had the credentials to handle and did not receive any of them. After this happened numerous times, she reportedly made mention to her supervisor that she was not receiving any of the positions she was applying for because she was black. According to her complaint, her employer responded by saying that she should look for employment elsewhere.

After suffering through missing out on promotions and her unhealthy work environment, she claims that she felt pressure to leave her position. She is filing a discrimination claim as well as accusations of retaliation against her employer in a Texas district court. Should her case be resolved in her favor, she may receive the damages she is seeking plus the cost of legal fees and lost income.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Woman claims coworkers left 'Mammy Doll,' KKK images in office", Annie Cosby, May 14, 2014

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