A local real estate agency is accused of discriminating against a former employee because of her pregnancy, gender and race, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Texarkana.
According to the complaint, Kariesha Hubbard, a 34-year-old African-American woman, was hired in 2015 by Atlanta Exploration Co., doing business as Coldwell Banker Elite Realtors, as a support staff member. However, she was told in January that her position was being eliminated because of restructuring.
"However the truth of the matter was that Atlanta Exploration Company dba Coldwell Banker Elite Realtors did not eliminate support positions, but hired other non-African-American and non-pregnant individuals to perform the same duties assigned to plaintiff," the complaint states.
Hubbard argues that the company had been happy with her performance, citing a $2-per-hour raise she received in April 2015 as part of a favorable employment evaluation. She also states that she was required to oversee the office by herself in October 2015 when a manager was out sick for a month, and that she received another favorable performance evaluation and raise in February 2016.
According to the suit, Hubbard notified her supervisor in April 2016 that she was pregnant and inquired about supplemental insurance to help cover her maternity leave.
The suit alleges other employees were offered supplemental insurance but Hubbard was not.
Hubbard further claims the company's owner, Alan Ribble, "said he was not going to compensate plaintiff for any portion of her maternity leave even though plaintiff was not offered the opportunity to obtain supplemental insurance."
Hubbard alleges that she was allowed to work from home during September 2016 because of complications from her pregnancy.
Hubbard alleges that the company kept "private notes" about her and circulated unfavorable emails.
"Plaintiff complained to her supervisors about the offensive remarks, jokes, comments, name-calling and innuendos with regard to pregnancy, gender and race; however nothing was done to stop the offensive conduct," the complaint states.
Hubbard alleges that she faced retaliation after complaining. She accuses her former employer of changing her job duties; giving her more work than could be completed in a single day and without compensation; denying benefits; and discrimination.
Hubbard is seeking a judgment for damages for disability discrimination, pregnancy disability discrimination, race discrimination, gender discrimination and wrongful termination. She is asking the court to award damages for mental abuse, pain and suffering, mental anguish and humiliation, as well as compensation for lost wages, attorney fees and court costs.
Coldwell Banker Elite in Texarkana has not been served with a copy of the complaint, and no response to Hubbard's complaint has been filed. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder III of the Eastern District of Texas.
Hubbard is represented by Dallas lawyer Hirem McBeth.