Fired Tyson Foods Manager Claims Discrimination in Suit

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A former Tyson Foods Inc. employee claims that his work dismissal was part of a plan to eliminate African-Americans from management.

Phillip Henry, who worked for Tyson Foods for eight years, is suing the Springdale-based food company and claiming discrimination and civil rights violations.

The suit claims Tyson Foods “has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against African-Americans in recruitment and hiring.”

Henry was the only African-American on the team of demand planners. The position determines future sales demand using a “combination of market analysis, statistical modeling projections and collaboration with the entire planning organization,” according to a Tyson Foods job ad.

Henry was dismissed from the position June 29, 2015, for “work performance,” court documents show.

“Ironically, (Tyson Foods) gave (Henry) a raise just a short time before — as a reward for (Henry’s) good work performance.”

Both Tyson Foods and Henry’s attorney, Joshua L. Bailey of Hogue Law Firm PLLC in Fayetteville, declined to comment on the case.

The suit was filed in Washington County Circuit Court on June 27. Circuit Judge John Threet will hear the case.

Henry has requested a jury trial and that monetary compensation be determined there.