According to The Courier, a Texas news source, Karen McPeters claims that when she was hired, Nadine Jenkins, the department head, told her that she was not planning on hiring any more black employees because it had backfired on her in the past.“She (Jenkins) said that black people are just naturally attitudinal, and since she is black, she didn’t need any other black people with attitudes,” McPeters said, in the news report.
McPeters also complains that she was belittled in front of coworkers, denied breaks, and required to get prior approval before scheduling medical appointments.
The report states that the county had received a prior complaint about Jenkins, the only black department head in the county, but this is the first complaint of racial discrimination against her. The county expects a lawsuit because mediations did not go well. Before mediation, McPeters was willing to settle for $96,000 but is now seeking damages of $250,000 to cover reimbursement for travel to go to medical appointments, travel expenses and mental anguish. The Courier reported that McPeters has been out of work since April 14 due to stress.
A county commissioner told The Courier that any corrections they’ve suggested to Jenkins as a result of their investigation have been made. If a compromise can not be reached, a spokesman for the EEOC told the source, then the EEOC’s legal department will review the complaint to determine if they want to pursue it as a lawsuit in federal court.