Former employee sues Veolia over unemployment benefits

Michelle Massey Nov. 23, 2010, 1:32pm


Former Veolia Environmental Services employee Earthell Turner filed suit against Veolia Environmental Services on Nov. 15 in federal court in New Orleans, claiming the company conspired to keep him from collecting unemployment benefits.

Turner began his employment at Veolia on approximately Aug. 12, 2007 and states he was subjected to a continuous pattern of harassment, prejudice, racial discrimination and abuse.

Specifically, Turner states his supervisor repeatedly used offensive language when he referred to Turner and his African-American co-workers. He claims he was subjected to grueling and difficult work assignments as compared to members of other races.

Turner also states the supervisor ridiculed his religious affiliation that is commonly associated with African-Americans.

He claims his supervisor conspired to rid his workplace of African-American workers by making up an incident where a white fellow employee claimed to be gravely injured by Turner's operation of an onboard crane. Turner was terminated following the incident, the complaint states.

Turner claims that following the wrongful termination the defendant fraudulently reported to state unemployment compensation authorities that Turner was terminated for misconduct so he would not receive unemployment benefits.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for loss of earnings, exemplary damages, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of employability, attorney's fees and costs.

Turner is represented by New Orleans attorney Jody Forester Jackson. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04321

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