The former assistant manager of a Sonic in Keller has filed a lawsuit against the drive-in franchise and her former boss, alleging he withheld pay and harassed her for pumping breast milk at work.
Natasha Wilson filed the lawsuit in Tarrant County civil court June 26, seeking at least $100,000 in relief, in addition to punitive damages.
The lawsuit said Wilson, an hourly employee, had been working at the Sonic in the 700 block of Keller Parkway when the alleged incidents occurred.
Her general manager, Thomas Horne, required her to work about 300 hours off the clock and did not allow her to take breaks, the lawsuit said.
Instead, the lawsuit alleged, Wilson was forced to stay on duty and pump breast milk in her car. Wilson later was forced to hide behind boxes of hamburger buns and cups inside the store while she pumped breast milk, she alleged in the lawsuit.
Horne, the manager, “harassed [Wilson] because she pumped breast milk, telling her it was ‘disgusting,’” the lawsuit said.
Other employees “harassed, belittled, mocked and disturbed” Wilson while she pumped breast milk, the lawsuit said.
Horne later banned Wilson from pumping breast milk in the store’s bathroom, she alleged.
“Natasha is humiliated, but she feels like she has to stand up for herself,” said her attorney, Joshua Graham.
The lawsuit named Sonic of Keller Inc., and its owner, David Carter, and Horne as defendants.
This spring, the lawsuit said, Wilson filed a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission, which ruled that Wilson had the right to sue over the allegations.
Wilson has since resigned from the Keller Sonic and found work at a different Sonic franchise, Graham said.
“It’s like night and day for her,” Graham said. “This was an issue that was very much isolated to that particular Sonic and to this manager.”
Carter and Horne, who have not yet hired attorneys, could not be reached for comment.