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TDCJ Pays $50,000 to Settle Racial Discrimination Suit

Upon receiving notice of right to sue from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on July 1, 2002, Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) employee Freestone James filed a racial discrimination suit against TDCJ and his immediate supervisor, Michael Traylor. Under the auspices of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, James accused the Defendants of creating and permitting a "racially hostile work environment" by discriminating against and harassing him due to his African American race.

Conditions were such that James was constructively terminated and resigned after 21 years of service to TDCJ. His retirement resulted in a range of mental and emotional stress, as well as damage to his pension and retirement benefits.

On October 9, 2002, represented by the Law Office of Jo Miller of Conroe, Texas, James filed a complaint seeking damages in excess of $3.6 million. However, on May 12, 2004, TDCJ paid James and his attorney a total of $50,000 to dismiss the suit. Of the $50,000, $19,618 was apportioned for attorney's fees.

See: James v. TDCJ, U.S.D.C., S.D. TX, Houston, #H-02-3734.

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Related legal case

James v. TDCJ