Laborer claims onsite supervisor did not want African-American employees

Michelle Keahey Oct. 7, 2011, 3:42am

After losing his job helping to rebuild the New Orleans levee system, an African-American employee has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the construction company claiming the onsite supervisor did not want black employees.

Lester Ricard Jr. filed suit against Target Construction Inc. and Royce Jennings on Sept. 26 in federal court in New Orleans.

Ricard, an African-American, was hired by the defendant in September 2010 as a full time laborer at the LPV 105.2 Army Corps Levy Project.

Despite robust hiring at the job site, Ricard was laid off on Oct. 22, 2010, the suit claims. Ricard states he notified the job superintendent that he had been laid off and the superintendent disputed this and told Ricard to return to work the following Monday. By the end of the following week, he was terminated.

According to the lawsuit, the supervisor that terminated Ricard stated that there were two too many black employees at the job site. Shortly thereafter, the other African-American employee was terminated.

The defendants are accused of violating Ricard's civil rights by intentionally discriminating against Ricard because of his race.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for conscious pain and suffering, physical injury, mental distress, humiliation, emotional distress, loss of income and employment, loss of benefits, loss of wages, loss of anticipated wages, loss of promotion, defamation, loss of employability, attorney's fees, punitive damages, court costs and interest.

Ricard is represented by Gonzales attorney Jean-Paul Robert.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02414

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