A sheriff in Louisiana is facing lawsuits for wrongful termination and other related claims. 

Sheriff mistreats two different employees for similar reasons

The lawsuits were filed in the federal U.S. District Court in New Orleans for gender bias, racial bias, and wrongful termination against the head sheriff for St. John the Baptist Parish. 

The first claim states that the sheriff had consistently singled out black employees for poor treatment when compared to similar white counterparts. The second was filed weeks later, and it details an elaborate plan to fire a woman for mannerisms that were considered low class or “ghetto” according to the court documents. 

The sheriff for the parish in question said he could not comment on pending lawsuits, per department policy. 

This is not the first time that the St. John the Baptist Parish police have been in trouble for harassment. An earlier lawsuit from 2018 related to discrimination states that a black employee who was due for a promotion was fired and the same promotion was given to a white employee shortly afterward. That case was set for trial and still remains unresolved at the time of the news report. 

The details of the first lawsuit are centered around the employee’s termination for a week when she allegedly requested and received approval for time off, yet was called in to work anyway. The department fired her for not working a switchboard on one of those days that she was not supposed to be present. Her pleadings include damages for future pay and back pay in unspecified amounts. 

The second lawsuit was filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The victim was initially hired as a dispatcher, but she claims that she was consistently taunted and verbally abused for her speech patterns and decorum, to the point that many of the insults she had to endure were clearly racist. Her attorney plans to present evidence of text messages that were distributed by high ranking employees at the office that used profane language and insults. When she initially attempted to formally complain about these matters, they did not allow her to access the grievance process. 

She was later fired for poor performance at an unspecified date. 

Aside from the sheriff, a commander, sergeant, and lieutenant at the office are all named as defendants in the lawsuit as well.

Inappropriate reasons for termination

All employers must demonstrate neutral reasons such as performance or financial decisions for terminating an employee. If someone has been fired for an illegal reason such as race, religion, or gender, there are various civil rights laws that offer protection. 

Get assistance from a local attorney in Louisiana

There are lawyers who help victims of employment discrimination and similar workplace problems throughout the state of Louisiana. To get help contact:

Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf

3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

225-343-2205

mlhlaw.com

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