Woman accuses welfare group, Goodwill of race discrimination

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 13, 2015

WHEELING – A woman is suing Zanesville Welfare Organization and Goodwill Industries after she claims she was discriminated against based on her race.

Tishawna Terry was employed by the defendant beginning in July 2011 and in September 2011, she was promoted to store manager, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Terry claims from September 2011 through February 2014, the two Goodwill locations she was over met or exceeded performance requirements and/or expectations and she did not receive any written evaluations that reflected poor or unsatisfactory job performance.

In January 2013, the district manager was replaced by Jackie Ice, according to the suit.

Terry claims on Jan. 7, 2014, she advised Goodwill she would need two days off in February 2014 to attend to her mother who was to undergo surgery and would need help at home following the surgery.

Although the defendant initially agreed to her request, two days prior to the days she requested off she was informed she would need to work her previously scheduled day off on Feb. 8 and that she would not be permitted to take off Feb. 5 and 6, according to the suit.

Terry claims she advised that she could not work on that date, as it was part of her planned days off to tend to her mother's medical needs and, upon returning to work after her previously scheduled days off, she was advised that she was being demoted from store manager and moved to work as a retail store worker at Goodwill's St. Clairsville location.

The unlawful discrimination did not end with the demotion and transfer, as she was further treated differently from any other employee by being required to work set hours in only one position, according to the suit.

Terry claims she was not allowed to run the cash register, change hours or perform any function other than to sort clothes and put them on hangers.

The demotion was due to Terry's race and was meant to force her to resign, according to the suit.

Terry claims the defendant was not satisfied with her refusal to resign and on June 20, 2014, she was advised that she was being further demoted to a part-time position, which ultimately led to her resigning from her position and being constructively discharged.

Terry is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Jeffrey A. Grove of Grove & Delk PLLC.

The case is assigned to District Judge Frederick P. Stamp Jr.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:15-cv-00115

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