A former vice president of human resources for the United Way of Tarrant County has filed a federal lawsuit against the nonprofit, claiming race discrimination and retaliation.

Coneisha Sherrod, who was fired on March 3, stated in her lawsuit that the United Way fired her in an email for missing meetings.

But Sherrod, who is black and had worked for the United Way since October 2013, said she was present for all of the meetings she is accused of missing.

She claims she was fired because of her willingness to testify about business mistakes and discriminatory practices that were pervasive within United Way management. Sherrod also said she believes she was fired because she stood up for another black woman who filed — and later settled — an earlier lawsuit against the United Way.

The suit does not indicate how much money the woman is seeking.

The attorney representing the United Way of Tarrant County, Andrew Turner, of the Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, declined to discuss the individual claims made in the Sherrod lawsuit.

"We are aware of the lawsuit and categorically deny the allegations in the lawsuit," Turner said. "The United Way does not discriminate on the basis of race or any other basis and we believe we will prevail in this lawsuit."

The woman who had filed suit in December was Marilyn Jones, the former executive vice president of community development. Her lawsuit, which was also based on race discrimination and retaliation, claimed she was paid less than other United Way Tarrant County executives with similar job titles and was denied a chance to compete for the chief executive officer position when it became available.

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