Another former employee of the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s office has accused the chief deputy, Greg Brown, of sexual harassment. The lawsuit filed on May 13th by Damita Lewis is similar to the one filed in January by Barbara Bracken.
It alleges that Doug Welborn, longtime Clerk of Court, did nothing to stop the harassment that led to a hostile work environment.
Monetary Damages Sought
Monetary damages are sought by both former deputy clerks claiming they were suspended without cause and eventually fired after reporting to their supervisor about the sexual advances made by Greg Brown.
Welborn is named the sole defendant in the lawsuits since he was the employer of former clerks. The lawsuits were filed under Title VII of the federal law that protects employees against any form of discrimination based on their color, race, sex, religion, or national origin.
Sexual Harassment Allegations Denied
Brown has vehemently denied any behavior that could be construed as sexual harassment or retaliation against the former clerks. An employment attorney for Welborn released a statement that the clerk of court will vigorously defend the allegations since he did nothing wrong.
Renee Culotta, New Orleans sexual harassment lawyer, added in the written statement that Welborn had never tolerated any form of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.
However, Lewis claims in her lawsuit that unwelcome sexual harassment by Brown started way back in 2012, two years after she was hired. He would meet with her alone to discuss his sexual prowess, sexual preferences, and proposition her to have sex with her.
She reported the behavior to her supervisor in April 2019 and was suspended without any cause in June 2019. She was ultimately fired in July 2019. Culotta has alleged that Lewis failed to report the sexual harassment allegations to Welborn.
Types of Sexual Harassment in Louisiana
Sexual harassment negatively affects an individual’s work capabilities. It directly interferes with their work performance. It also creates a hostile, intimidating, and offensive work environment. Victims should get in touch with an experienced employment lawyer before using any grievance system or employer complaint mechanism available.
Sexual harassment can be of two types at workplaces. Louisiana state law and federal law recognize hostile environment and Quid Pro Quo. The complex nature of these litigations makes it necessary to consult with a sexual harassment attorney before taking any steps.
Quid Pro Quo refers to carrying out sexual favors in return for benefits, such as continued employment or promotion. Hostile Environment includes those actions that directly create an offensive, intimidating, or hostile work environment.