Fairgrounds supervisor claims retaliatory termination

Michelle Massey Sep. 17, 2010, 4:33am

A security supervisor for the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has filed a discriminatory lawsuit against his former supervisor after he lost his job for payroll fraud.

Claiming violations of his civil rights, Kendrick M. Rayford filed suit against Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company on Sept. 6 in federal court in New Orleans.

Rayford states he was hired in October 2008 and remained in that position until he was terminated in June.

According to the lawsuit, Rayford filed a disciplinary write-up for insubordination against a female subordinate on June 7. He states no action was taken against the subordinate but he was suspended when that disciplined subordinate retaliated against him by alleging that he was having sex with other female subordinates. In response to her allegations, Rayford filed a sexual harassment complaint against the female subordinate.

Rayford claims an investigation showed there was no merit to the allegations but his suspension was continued until he was discharged for allegedly committing payroll fraud for leaving the building for periods of time.

Rayford argues the basis for his termination was retaliatory and pretexual. He states the defendant should have known that the subordinate employee was retaliating against him for his filing the insubordination charge against her.

"Further, that this subordinate employee had a history and practice of retaliating against other employees without any significant disciplinary action taken against her by Defendant Fair Grounds," the lawsuit alleges.

Rayford states he did not commit payroll fraud as he was performing his job duties as he was instructed by patrolling the building and grounds on the day that the supervisors were not in their areas.
The plaintiff is seeking damage for lost wages, reinstatement or front pay, medical benefits, employee benefits, emotional distress, compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, costs and attorney fees.

Rayford is represented by Elmer G. Gibbons III of Metairie and Dwight W. Norton of Metairie. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02948

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