Chevron plant accused of allowing racial discrimination

Michelle Keahey Jun. 2, 2011, 6:12am

Two Chevron employees have filed a lawsuit claiming they are victims of racial discrimination and were fired for complaining about the discrimination.

Blake Lejeune and Calvin J. Parker filed suit against Turner Industries Group and Chevron Oronite Co. on May 25 in federal court in New Orleans.

In June 2010, Blake Lejeune, a Caucasian male, complained about significant racial discrimination in the workplace. Lejeune's allegations include that the labor crew consisted of all African-American males and the management positions were all Caucasian males, without nearly the same time or experience and that several well-qualified and experienced black employees were denied top pay for being unable to obtain an NCCER card, while white employees were being paid top wages without the card,

Lejeune also claims he heard a supervisor make derogatory comments about black people.

In August 2010, Lejeune was given a hair drug test which he failed, according to the company, the suit states. The day after he was informed of the test results he paid for an independent drug tests which showed negative results for any kind of illegal or prescription drug.

After 25 years of working at the Chevron plant, in July 2010, Calvin Parker, an African-American male, was fired for "sleeping on the job." Parker states that on his break he stayed in the shop and laid back on a bench for a couple of moments. Parker alleges he was terminated due to racial discrimination and in retaliation for his name being brought up by LeJeune during his complaints.

Neither man had previously been disciplined.

Lejeune and Parker are asking the court to issue an injunction preventing the defendant from further racial discrimination and for an award of back pay, reinstatement or front pay, costs for racial discrimination and retaliation, damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, punitive damages, attorney's fees and interest.

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

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01238

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