Updates from July, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 9:05 am on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Race Discrimination Case Against Kroger and Use of word "Nigger" 

    I am preparing for a jury trial in Houston which starts on August 7, 2012. The case involves race discrimination against Kroger, the big supermarket chain in Houston.

    Racial Discrimination

    photo: you-can-learn-basic-employee-rights.com

    Our client claims that she was constantly called “nigger” by her white co-worker. She says that she complained to management and they rarely, if ever, took action. They let him continue working there, she alleges, because he was friends with the store manager.

    As I prepare for trial, I was discussing how many times we think the word “nigger” will be mentioned in the trial. We even talked about substituting the phrase, “the “N” word”, rather than saying the racial slur over and over again. I’ve had sex harassment and race discrimination cases where other slurs were used, and I always avoid repeating them, but rather say the “f-word” or the “b-word”.

    Wondering what my friends in the blogosphere and on FB think. Should we keep saying “nigger” throughout the trial, or should we say “the N word”, instead. Somehow I think the jury will grow tired, and maybe even offended by the constant repetition of the word “nigger”.


    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law and immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

    • Anonymous 1:09 am on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Please use “The N Word” in the courtroom. This blog is very difficult to read because I found the language offensive. If I were a juror and the attorney kept saying the word you used above I would find it difficult to be sympathetic to your cause. Good luck to you and your client.

    • Jill 3:07 am on December 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What did you end up doing and what was the outcome. I would say it once when repeating verbatim the statement of the person who uttered it. I would refrain from using it again and use the n-word in other instances.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:18 am on April 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Mike Childs, Raymond Wei   

    Kroger Files Motion to Dismiss Race/Sex Harassment Lawsuit 

    In a case that our law firm has been handling, the employer, Kroger, has filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed. They claim that there are insufficient disputed facts to warrant a trial. The case is pending in US District Court in Houston and is set for trial this summer.

    In this case, our client filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming that a co-worker harassed her because she is black and female, by among other things, calling her a “nigger.” Store managers, Raymond Wei and Mike Childs, have signed statements on behalf of Kroger’s motion.

    Co-manager of the Kroger store (in Sugar Land, Tx), Raymond Wei, verifies that our client complained about a co-worker using curse words at her, and he notes that a customer verified our client’s complaint. Store manager Mike Childs has verified that the offending employee was disciplined at least one time, yet, his employer still seeks dismissal of the case.

    In their motion, Kroger claims that our client cannot prove sufficient facts to win, so the judge should dismiss the case. This is a common defense tactic in almost every discrimination case. Unfortunately, many times a judge will dismiss the case without the employee-victim ever getting their day in court for a trial. In this case, we plan to respond to the motion with compelling evidence, so hopefully the judge will let our client proceed to trial before a jury.


    About the author: Bruce Coane is an attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, and, immigration law, with offices in Florida and Texas. He may be reached at houstonlaw@aol.com, 713-850-0066 or 305-538-6800.

  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 6:08 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EEOC investigation, ,   

    Gay Man Pursues Sexual Discrimination Claim 

    Today, my client will be participating in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation concerning his charge of discrimination. We filed his charge with the EEOC claiming discrimination based on sex.  While normally there are no laws preventing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, in this case, his supervisor suspected that the client was gay, kept asking questions about his family, etc, and fired him after 6 weeks on the job because he “was not the right fit,” and things were “not working well.”   The client is claiming sex discrimination, as the basis to enable the EEOC to investigate. Following today’s investigatory process, there will be the opportunity for mediation to see if there is a way to amicably resolve this case.

    • Allison Welsch 7:41 pm on June 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      How often does that occur in the work place?

      • Coane & Associates 12:52 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I have had this type of issue many times, so, unfortunately, it is probably a common occurance.

    • Raj Makajanani 1:40 pm on June 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Did you case get resolved, and what was the outcome?

      • Coane & Associates 12:50 pm on June 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        The investigation at EEOC continues, and when they are done, we can take the case to court, unless the case settles, of course.

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