Sodexo personnel manager sues for age, disability and gender discrimination

Michelle Keahey Jul. 11, 2011, 4:00am

A personnel manager has filed a lawsuit against her employer for age, disability and gender discrimination after she was forced to resign her position due to new job responsibilities.

Deborah G. Culotta filed suit against Sodexo Remote Sites Partnership, formerly Universal Services, Universal Ogden, Universal Services Inc. and Universal Sodexo, on July 4 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the lawsuit, Culotta began her employment with the defendant in 1983. She states by April 2004, she was in the position of personnel manager but was performing the duties of her direct supervisor, human resources director. When her supervisor left his position, Culotta was given his title but her pay was not increased. She states her employer made "intentional and false promises and misrepresentations that defendant would eventually pay claimant the same pay as her male and younger predecessors."

Culotta states eventually the defendant, in order to force her to quit, determined it was necessary for her to go on vessels on the water, knowing she had a serious problem with water.

The defendant is accused of scheming to keep Culotta performing her duties as cheaply as possible under fraudulent pretenses until they forced her to resign. Culotta claims that it was the defendant's intent and plan to "move out older and female employees from certain positions."

The defendant is accused of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, American with Disabilities Act and Culotta's civil rights.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for loss of pay and benefits, emotional mental psychological and physical harm, loss of income, loss of family and loss of enjoyment of life and punitive damages.

Culotta is represented by New Orleans attorney John-Michael Lawrence.

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

Case No. 2:11-cv-01561

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