Louisiana company accused of refusing to hire African-Americans

Michelle Massey Dec. 27, 2010, 2:24am

A Louisiana corporation is accused of racial discrimination in a suit filed Dec. 22 in federal court in New Orleans.

Sondria Brown, Terris Cramedy, Carlos Gibson, Derrick Mixon, Arthur Mixon, Helen Edwards, Lance Jackson, Darrick May, Derrick McGowan, Preston Murray, Donnell Pigott, Jonathan Lowery, Elvin Pigott, Devon Thompson and Michael Williams are suing Canal Energy & Services Inc., claiming the defendant screened all applicants to determine their race and would mark their application with "B" on applications submitted by African Americans.

All of the above-named plaintiffs applied for employment with Canal Energy in Bogalusa in response to advertisements in the local paper.

The plaintiffs argue that the defendant had a policy of refusing to hire African American applicants and the defendant's president had stated that he did not want to hire African Americans.

"Defendant's screening process and refusal to hire African Americans was in reckless disregard of the rights provided under Title VII to plaintiffs," the lawsuit states.

They are asking the court for an award of back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Ronnie G. Penton and Mary Anna Penton of The Penton Law Firm in Bogalusa and Michael T. Tusa, Jr. and James C. Rather, Jr. of Sutton & Alker in Mandeville. A jury trial is requested.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04607

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