Tyco sales rep sues employer for racial discrimination over sales leads

Michelle Keahey May 26, 2011, 6:00am


A sales representative for a home security company has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit claiming she was not provided an equal amount of sales leads because of her race.

Debra Watkins filed suit against Tyco International d/b/a ADT Security Services Inc. on May 20 in federal court in New Orleans.

Debra Watkins, an African American, was hired by ADT as a sales representative in June 2002, the suit claims. She alleges that sometime in May 2009, after the company hired three Caucasian sales representatives, she noticed she was only receiving two to three appointments a week, compared to 3 to 5 appointments a day for the new hires. Watkins complained to her supervisor about the alleged racial discrimination and eventually filed a written complaint in August 2009.

In November 2009, Watkins was terminated for allegedly violating company policy. She argues the termination was in retaliation for complaining about racial discrimination.

She is asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendant from continued unlawful practices and for an award of back pay, interest, bonuses, pension and other lost benefits, front pay, compensatory damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, punitive damages and attorney's fees.

Watkins is represented by New Orleans attorneys James L. Arruebarrena and Rachel Martin-Deckelmann. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01197

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