Discrimination lawsuit between employee and SHSU reaches settlement

A lawsuit by a Sam Houston State University employee against SHSU on the basis of racial discrimination came to a close Monday after two years of litigation, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt dismissed Angel Lamb’s lawsuit after being notified that a settlement between the two parties had been reached.

Details of the settlement were unable to be obtained by press time because Lamb and her lawyer, Jo Miller, refused to comment to the Houstonian. Yvonne Bennett, who represented SHSU, did not return repeated calls for comment.

Lamb, a human resources employee, filed the lawsuit with the U.S. Court of the Southern District of Texas in 2012 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 citing “unlawful employment discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation” according to court documents.

Previous settlement attempts by the university were “low-ball” offers, according to court documents filed by Miller.

The parties have 90 days to reinstate the case if the terms of the settlement are not met.

Lamb began working for SHSU in 1990 as a full-time financial aid clerk and was eventually transferred to the HR department in 2010 alongside fellow African-American employees Brittany Drake-Dixon and Cyndi Wilson.

At the time of her transfer, David White served as the interim director of the HR department and Cynthia Bennett worked as the associate director of the HR department. It was during these two employee’s supervision that Lamb alleged she and her co-workers were passed over for raises and promotions that they believed they were qualified for due to false evaluations.

Lamb and the other African-American coworkers were the only employees in the HR department not to receive raises, which all white employees reportedly did receive, according to court documents.

According to Lamb, White and Bennett were “targeting” the three black HR employees “in an effort to the get them to quit and cleanse the HR department,” the documents stated.

White is no longer director of HR, while Bennett is still associate director.

In her original complaint, Lamb said, “I love SHSU and I plan to retire here, but I will not continue to sit back and take this type of treatment.”

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