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Motiva says black woman failed to exhaust administrative perquisites before filing discrimination claim


Motiva Enterprises is asserting that a Port Arthur woman failed to exhaust her administrative perquisites before filing a suit claiming the company discriminated against her by allowing a white male certain privileges.

As previously reported, Carolyn Warwick, a black female, filed a lawsuit July 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Motiva Enterprises.

Court records show that on Aug. 13 Motiva answered the suit, asserting that Warwick failed to exhaust her administrative perquisites before filing suit.

Motiva is asking the court to dismiss the case.

The suit alleges that Warwick began working as a payroll clerk for Motiva on Oct. 30, 1968. Since then, the company has hired three other payroll clerks. Three of the clerks, including Warwick, are black women while one is a white male, the suit states.

She claims that Motiva discriminates against the black employees, allowing the white male worker certain rights not permitted of the other three clerks, the suit states.

“The white male receives preferential treatment and is allowed to come and go as he pleases,” the complaint says. “He is not required to use his vacation time if he decides to take a long lunch period. Plaintiff, however, is forced to either make up her time or take vacation time off if she needs to take an extended lunch period.”

Warwick is seeking an unspecified judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus exemplary damages, pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Gregg M. Rosenberg and Brian J. Levy of Rosenberg and Sprovach in Houston represent her.

Attorney Robert Hambright of the Orgain, Bell & Tucker law firm in Beaumont represents Motiva.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A192-663

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