NEW ORLEANS – A 52-year-old African-American man is suing his employer, alleging age and race discrimination.
Joseph Sylvester Sr. filed a lawsuit on Dec. 23 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against EN Bisso & Sons Inc., alleging violations of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
According to the complaint, Sylvester worked for Bisso & Sons, a tugboat and towing company, since 1989 in various capacities, most recently as a general laborer earning $42,000 per year. The suit says he was demoted from purchasing agent in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and was replaced by his trainee, Timothy Michel, a younger white male.
In addition, Sylvester alleges he was the target of racial slurs and epithets when he returned to the Bisso yard for work in November 2005, when he began serving as a laborer. The plaintiff claims several supervisors and co-workers verbally harassed him, and says he overheard them plotting to fire him based on his race and age.
Sylvester seeks punitive and compensatory damages. He is represented by J. Courtney Wilson of Metairie, Louisiana.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Case number 2:15-cv-07089