Employee sues Home Depot after involuntary leave during pending felony charges

Michelle Massey Aug. 23, 2010, 5:51am


After being placed on involuntary leave during pending felony charges, a Home Depot employee has filed a gender and racial discrimination lawsuit against her employer alleging she was treated differently than another employee facing similar charges.

Alleging violations of her civil rights and of Louisiana law, Bermadette Weber filed suit against The Home Depot, Inc. Aug. 7 in federal court in New Orleans.

After two years working as an "expeditor" at Home Depot, Weber states she was placed on involuntary leave while felony criminal charges were pending against her. Weber was told that once the charges were cleared she would be allowed to return to work.

It took more than six months before all charges against Weber were dismissed and she was allowed to return to work. When she returned, Weber says she was demoted to a cashier.

Weber states she was forced to file for bankruptcy due to loss of income during the six months she was placed on leave.

She claims she was discriminated against based on her race and gender because another employee, a Caucasian male, was not placed on involuntary leave when similar criminal charges were pending against him.

Weber is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, mental anguish and depression, humiliation/embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, interest, punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs.

Weber is represented by Anundra Martin Dillon of Marrero.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02584

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