African-American worker files discrimination lawsuit after getting passed on promotion

Michelle Keahey Aug. 22, 2011, 2:52am


An African-American construction worker has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against his former employer after he did not receive the promotion he wanted.

Darrell A. Wagner filed suit against Boh Bros. Construction Co. on Aug. 16 in federal court in New Orleans.

Wagner was employed by the defendant for various periods beginning in 2006 through 2007, the lawsuit claims. In February 2010, he applied for a safety technician position and was hired but given a labor position. He states he was told to call regularly to find out if there were safety positions available. According to the lawsuit, Wagner called twice a week for five months and was told there were no safety positions available.

In March 2010, a Caucasian woman arrived at Wagner's job site and introduced herself as a safety technician. Wagner called a supervisor and asked why he was not made aware of the position and he was told that they had been looking to fill that position "for a while." Wagner alleges that he was not promoted to the position of safety manager due to racial discrimination.

Wagner met with several supervisors about the unfair treatment and discrimination but did not receive an adequate response. He was terminated in June 2011, allegedly in retaliation for filing a complaint with the EEOC.

The plaintiff is asking the court to permanently stop the company from these unlawful practices and for an award of back pay, front pay, compensatory damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment and humiliation, punitive damages, attorney's fees and interest.

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

Case No. 2:11-cv-02030

More News