Former Kmart manager claims racial and gender discrimination

Michelle Massey Aug. 10, 2010, 3:54pm

A Kmart store manager has filed a discrimination lawsuit after she was terminated for alleged misappropriation of company property.

Sheila A. Clayborne filed suit against Sears Holding Co. doing
business as Kmart on Aug. 4 in federal court in New Orleans.

Clayborne, a 49-year-old black woman, accuses her former employer of racial and gender motivated discharge after losing her position for allegedly discounting a flat screen television by 90 percent and then buying it herself.

She claims she did provide a 90 percent discount to a customer for a damaged flat screen television in November 2009. She states store managers and assistant store managers are allowed to sell damaged merchandise at various discounts.

In January, Clayborne was questioned about the sale and she replied that she sold it to a customer and did not personally buy the television.

A month later, Clayborne was terminated for personally buying a 42" undamaged television. She claims she called the associate who rang up the customer and it was confirmed that Clayborne was not the individual who bought the product.

However, Clayborne claims the District Loss Prevention Manager ignored this clerk and failed to provide proof that Clayborne bought the television.

Clayborne claims her termination was an act of discrimination by the District Loss Prevention Manager. She cites racial remarks and anti-female remarks he allegedly made more than 12 years ago.

Clayborne is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, lost fringe benefits, medications, emotional distress, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.

Clayborne is represented by Metairie attorney J. Courtney Wilson. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02459

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