Efforts of Parzivand Law Firm Featured in Conroe Courier Article
Author: Catherine Dominguez
A second county employee has filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and plans to file suit against Montgomery County claiming Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack discriminated against her due to her age.
JoDell Whitehead, 65, who is represented by Houston-based attorney Alfonso Kennard, filed the complaint with the EEOC May 20.
“Mrs. Whitehead is prepared to protect her rights,” Kennard said. “She has been the victim of injustice and she is speaking up so that this will not happen to others.”
The first discrimination complaint was filed with the EEOC April 10 by Terrilynn Macarthur. Macarthur was terminated June 23, 2013, as manager of the Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center without warning after she was written up for the first time in June 2013. She claims the discrimination started soon after Noack was sworn into office Jan. 1, 2013.
While the county has not received the complaint yet, Noack and Montgomery County Attorney J D Lambright, deny there was any discrimination.
“The county did not discriminate against these employees, and we intend to vigorously defend the county against all such allegations,” Lambright said in a previous Courier article.
He said the county takes all discrimination complaints seriously and prides itself on being an “equal opportunity employer.”
While Whitehead and Macarthur have filed complaints, several other former employees claim they were victims of discrimination as well and have provided affidavits to Houston-based attorney Hessam Parzivand who is representing Macarthur.
According to Becky Cottingham’s affidavit, who served as the director of Recycling, Reuse & Household Chemical Waste for 12 years, she was suspended twice, in January 2013 and in February 2013, before being forced to retire after 18 years with the county after Noack made her work conditions “so unbearable.”
An affidavit by Loretta Golden also alleges she was “forced to resign” due to a “hostile environment created by Commissioner Noack.”
“The general feeling was that Commissioner Noack is a very vengeful man who would retaliate against anybody who stood up to him,” the affidavit states.
Golden claims one female employee was forced to “retire under duress” after Noack called her names and reduced her workload. She also claimed another female employee was forced to clean despite the fact Noack had custodial services.
Both Parzivand and Kennard are continuing to gather information regarding their clients’ claims.