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Court Cases in the News

A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.

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Louisiana

Complete Maintenance Janitorial Service to Pay $45,600 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Source: U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Date: August 17, 2016

NEW ORLEANS - Complete Maintenance, Inc., a Dallas/Fort Worth commercial janitorial service doing business in the New Orleans Metropolitan area, has agreed to pay $45,600 in damages and provide other significant relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed last year by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Woman receives $100,000 settlement in Belle Chasse sexual harassment case

Source: Mark Waller, NOLA
Date: February 28, 2011

$110,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging it fired an employee in Belle Chasse for refusing to have sex with her boss.

Major Construction Firm To Pay $110,000 To Settle EEOC Suit For Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Source: Press Release, EEOC
Date: February 25, 2011

Brand Energy Fired Employee for Refusing Supervisor's Requests for Sex, Federal Agency Charged.

University Of Louisiana At Monroe To Pay $450,000 To Settle EEOC Age Discrimination And Retaliation Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC
Date: April 21, 2010

The University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM), which operates under the Board of Supervisors of the University of Louisiana System, will pay $450,000 to settle an age discrimination and retaliation suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor?tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Exxon Must Pay $1.2 Million for Workers' Radiation

Source: Bob Van Voris and Leslie Snadowsky, Business Week
Date: March 11, 2010

Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. energy company, must pay $1.2 million to 16 Louisiana workers who claimed they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation when they were cleaning used oil drilling pipes, a jury said.

Immigrants hired after storm sue New Orleans hotel executive

Source: Leslie Eaton, New York Times
Date: August 17, 2006

In a new twist on the labor problems bedeviling New Orleans, a group of guest workers from Latin America, brought in to maintain some of the city's hotels after Hurricane Katrina, filed a lawsuit yesterday complaining that they were being shortchanged by a prominent hotel executive and developer. The workers are in the country legally on visas obtained for them by Decatur Hotels. Drawn to New Orleans by promises that they would work 40 hours a week plus overtime, the workers said, they are instead working as little as 10 hours a week for as little as $6.14 an hour, and, under the terms of their visas, cannot find other jobs.

Ex-N.O. City Hall Official Sues Mayor, 4 Male Staff Aides

Source: Frank Donze, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Date: March 31, 2004

One week after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed her discrimination charges against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and four male members of his senior staff, former Chief Administrative Officer Kimberly Williamson Butler has taken her grievance to federal court. Butler's lawsuit, filed late Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court, uses much of the language contained in her EEOC complaint, which charged that Nagin and his aides discriminated against her based on gender, religion and disability. The suit alleges Butler "received disparate treatment as a result of her sex." In addition to charging that Nagin was a part of a "conspiracy" to remove her as "the first, highest-ranking black female in city government," Butler accuses the mayor of trying to tarnish her reputation by citing high blood pressure as a primary reason for her resignation.

Decision Reversed in Discrimination Suit

Source: Joe Gyan Jr., 2theAdvocate
Date: January 22, 2004

The [Louisiana] Supreme Court voided a $1 million jury award to two retired Baton Rouge police officers and ordered an appeals court to decide whether the black officers waited too long to sue the department for racial discrimination. "It's certainly in limbo right now," Assistant Parish Attorney Gwendolyn Brown said Wednesday of the money that a jury awarded Capt. William Alcorn and Sgt. Albert Burns Sr. in January 2002. Last year, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the jury's decision that Alcorn and Burns suffered racial discrimination and harassment during their careers with the Police Department and allowed the $1 million award to stand. A unanimous Supreme Court annulled the jury award Friday and sent the case back to the 1st Circuit, telling the appellate court to rule on the city's contention that Alcorn's and Burns' allegations of race-based discrimination and harassment came too late.

Blind Woman Sues LSU After Job Demotion, Charging Discrimination

Source: Associated Press, New Orleans Times-Picayune
Date: November 29, 2003

A blind woman has sued LSU, saying the school demoted her from her job as resident assistant because of her handicap. Meleah Jensen, 22, of New Orleans, filed the federal lawsuit claiming LSU violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by neglecting to provide equal employment opportunities. Jensen arrived as a resident assistant at Beauregard Hall in August and was dropped to an office assistant the next day.

'Shocking' Discrimination Suit Kept Alive

Source: Penny Brown Roberts, WBRZ News 2 (LA)
Date: August 5, 2003

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a former detective's claims that he endured racial harassment and discrimination in the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office for years, and was wrongly fired for assisting a 2001 Louisiana State Police investigation of one of the sheriff's friends. In a ruling released Monday, U.S. District Judge James Brady said Willie Turner's allegations -- one of which the judge described as "shocking" -- "more than meet the standard for establishing a hostile work environment." In doing so, Brady refused a request by Sheriff Willie Graves, who denies Turner's allegations, to dismiss the lawsuit. "Direct evidence of discrimination is a rare thing indeed," Brady wrote. "For summary judgment purposes, the court is convinced that direct evidence of discrimination rears its ugly head in this case."

Judge Signs Jury's $500K Judgment in Discrimination Suit

Source: Johnny Gunter, News Star (LA)
Date: August 5, 2003

U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. "Robbie" James signed a final judgment Monday in a religious discrimination lawsuit won by a Franklin Parish resident recently, but has not yet ruled on a defense motion to overturn the jury's verdict. A federal jury awarded Michael Lee Johnson, 51, of Liddieville, $496,000 in damages against Healthworks International of Winnsboro on July 15. The lawsuit alleged that the defendant company, owned by Franklin Parish residents Ivan Hawthorne and Sam Noble, constantly pressured Johnson to become a member of the Apostolic Tabernacle. When it became apparent he was not going to join, the suit claimed Johnson was not properly paid, was harassed, demoted and finally fired in October 2000.

Franklin Parish Company to Appeal Discrimination Verdict

Source: Associated Press, NJ.com
Date: July 19, 2003

A northeast Louisiana diet pill distribution company will appeal a jury's verdict that it owes a former employee nearly $500,000 for religious discrimination, the company's lawyers said. A federal jury ruled Tuesday that Healthworks International must pay Michael Lee Johnson, 51, of Liddieville, $21,600 in lost wages, $175,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages, said Matt Courtman, Johnson's lawyer. Healthworks is a distributor of health-related products including Go-Go Juice and Truckers Luv It. The complaint alleged that the defendants pressured Johnson to become a member of the Apostolic Tabernacle. When it became apparent he was not going to join, the suit claims Johnson was improperly paid, harassed and demoted, then fired in October 2000.




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