Mississippi Senate Accused Of Race Discrimination

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The law firm of Louis H. Watson, Jr., P.A. confirms that a race discrimination lawsuit has been filed against the Mississippi State Senate

From the evidence we have seen so far, it appears that the Mississippi Senate based its decision to terminate Ms. Brown on her race rather than legitimate business reasons like seniority, experience, or performance.

The law firm of Louis H. Watson, Jr., P.A. confirms that a race discrimination lawsuit has been filed against the Mississippi State Senate. Court documents show that Janice Brown filed a race discrimination claim pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the Mississippi State Senate on November 2, 2011. According to the complaint, Ms. Brown claims that she had been employed with the Mississippi State Senate in various staff positions for approximately fifteen (15) years. On May 25, 2010, Ms. Brown was called into the Secretary of the Senate's office, and was informed that she was being terminated because her services were no longer needed. Later that day Ms. Brown filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging she had been terminated based on her race, which is black.

Court documents show that the Mississipp State Senate informed the EEOC that it terminated Ms. Brown as part of a reduction in force, and that she was selected as Senators and other co-workers had alledly complained that Ms. Brown either refused or was resistant to perform her job duties. However, during the EEOC's investigation none of the Senators or co-workers, who had allegedly complained of Ms. Brown's job performance, corroborated the Mississippi State Senate's claims during their interviews with the EEOC investigator. The EEOC investigation also found that less experienced and less senior white staff members were retained while Ms. Brown, who is black, was terminated. On August 10, 2011, at the conclusion of the EEOC's investigation it issued a determination letter that found it was reasonable to believe that Ms. Brown was selected for lay off because of her race. Plaintiff's counsel Nick Norris stated, "From the evidence we have seen so far, it appears that the Mississippi Senate based its decision to terminate Ms. Brown on her race rather than legitimate business reasons like seniority, experience, or performance."

The case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The case is Janice Brown v. Mississippi State Senate, Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-678-WHB-LRA.

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Nick Norris