Michelle Keahey Nov. 26, 2013, 11:14am

NEW ORLEANS - A tax preparer has filed a lawsuit claiming he was subjected to a hostile work environment after he was subjected to racially insensitive remarks.

Joseph H. Jones Jr. filed suit against H&R Block Eastern Enterprises Inc. on Nov. 15 in federal court in New Orleans.

Jones, an African-American man, was employed as a professional tax preparer and team leader by the defendant. He prepared tax returns for individuals and businesses and assisted other tax preparers as a team leader in the store in which he was located.

During his employment, he claims that he was subjected to racially insensitive remarks and other violations of Block’s company policy. He complained to his immediate supervisor, who informed Jones that he was conducting an investigation. After receiving no response, Jones filed a complaint with the EEOC.

In accordance with Block’s policies, Jones was required to re-interview for his position for the next tax season. Although he was rehired, he was offered a lower position and in a less affluent area.

“Block’s actions in this matter constitute retaliation for complaining about his disparate treatment,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for back pay, front pay, and punitive damages.

Jones is represented by Matthew C. Wilson of The Wilson Law Offices in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:13-cv-06426

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