A long-term employee of an international airport outside of Texas claims that he was denied a position for which he was qualified due to his race. The plaintiff — who happens to be black — was a prominent member of the airport staff and was often seen as the public face for events and conferences. He served in many positions during his 19 years with the company and is currently the assistant aviation director. His racial discrimination case against the city was recently filed in a federal court.
In 2013, the position of aviation director was vacated and subsequently filled by a Caucasian man who was employed by the airport for just over a year as the interim. He and the new interim aviation director were both assistants at the time. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was the only minority in his position.
After the director took over, he created two new deputy positions that would be in between the aviation director and the assistant. One was to remain open so that, if the new director would be removed from his position, he could fall back on the open position. The first deputy position was filled by another assistant aviation director who was also white. The candidate did have a considerable amount of time invested at the airport, but, compared to the plaintiff, he apparently did not have the same demanding positions, experience and background.
The plaintiff complained about the way in which the position was filled and then contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who gave him the right to sue for racial discrimination. He is seeking to be given back pay dating to 2013 as well as be given the position to which he was denied. The attorney for the city stated that this lawsuit will in no way impact how the plaintiff will be treated. Texas employees should not be denied opportunities because of any legally protected status and those who are aggrieved can consult with an employment law attorney to pursue the appropriate claims.
Source: charlotteobserver.com, “Charlotte airport administrator sues city, alleging racial discrimination“, Ely Portilloely, Dec. 2, 2015