Museum worker claims she was terminated for having six-pack of soda

Michelle Massey Jan. 25, 2011, 3:12am

A group of New Orleans museums is being sued on gender discrimination claims.

Ketha Smallpage filed suit against Audubon Nature Institute Inc. on Jan. 19 in federal court in New Orleans claiming civil rights violations.

Smallpage claims that when she was transferred to the group's Catering Department in 2008, she was subjected to a continuous pattern of harassment, prejudice, gender discrimination and abuse from the actions of her direct supervisor. She claims that she reported the discriminatory behavior on at least two occasions but her complaints were dismissed.

According to the lawsuit, no actions were taken against the supervisor, but instead Smallpage was given copies of two different books on how to deal with difficult managers.

She claims she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for complaining about the harassment. She was allegedly terminated for having a six-pack of soda in her possession.

The defendant is accused of subjecting Smallpage to intentional discrimination based on her gender, violating Louisiana Employment Discrimination Laws and retaliation and terminating Smallpage because she opposed discriminatory employment practices.

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

Smallpage 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. 2:11-cv-00109

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