A former Texas Department of Transportation employee filed a civil lawsuit against the agency alleging he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation at the Waco District Office.
Anthony Martinez who was fired in 2013 is asking in the lawsuit for a jury trial, back pay and compensatory damages.
“If an employee is a bad employee, terminate him. But don’t terminate them because of how they look, how they dress, their religion and their minority status,” said Martinez.
Martinez who is Hispanic alleges in the lawsuit he received less training than his white counterparts at the Waco District Office.
In addition, he said he and his African American coworker were victims of racial slurs. He states in one instance his supervisor made inappropriate racial comments toward him in November in 2012.
“In the heat of the moment, he blurted out words that he shouldn’t have. Right after that I thought 'that’s it,'” said Martinez.
The lawsuit filed in Travis County in October alleges once he filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he claims his coworkers and supervisors began to act in a cold and standoffish manner toward him.
“That was like pouring gasoline on the fire. Everything exploded,” said Martinez.
He claims the retaliation included being denied a raise as a result of what he refers to as an unfair evaluation.
"The review was biased and inaccurate, and it was inconsistent with the performance reviews Plaintiff had received in previous years," the lawsuit states.
Martinez said his termination in 2013 after working nearly eight years as a TXDOT inspector, was a result of what he called a false threat of violence at work accusation.
A TXDOT spokesman said the agency could not comment on pending litigation. However, court documents filed on behalf of TXDOT state that all actions taken with regard to plaintiff were based on legitimate non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons.
TXDOT also requested for the case to be transferred to McLennan County indicating the individuals he lists on his lawsuit and those involved in his termination work and live in McLennan County.
Martinez said he would like the case to remain in Travis County because McLennan County already has a large volume of cases in the court system.
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