Female offshore cook files gender discrimination lawsuit

Michelle Keahey Oct. 20, 2011, 9:10am


An offshore cook has filed a racial and gender discrimination lawsuit that claims she was terminated shortly after complaining about unfair treatment.

Penny M. Stewart filed suit against Sodexo Remote Sites Partnership on Oct. 14 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the complaint, Stewart began her employment with Sodexo as an executive steward in November 2008. She states that she filed a complaint regarding gender discrimination on Dec. 10, 2010 and then was immediately sent to training concerning analyzing personalities.

She claims that this training was not necessary and was only imposed on her as a punishment for complaining about gender discrimination. In May, she filed an EEOC complaint alleging that a male co-worker, who was also an executive steward, was being paid more. She also alleged that she was suffering from reprisals and retaliation because of her prior complaint of gender discrimination. By the end of May, Stewart was advised that she would not be assigned to any more jobs and was effectively terminated, she claims.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendant from continued unlawful practices and for an award of back pay, interest, bonuses, pension, lost benefits, front pay, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of reputation, embarrassment, humiliation, punitive damages, costs and attorney's fees.

Stewart is represented by James L. Arruebarrena and Rachel Martin-Deckelmann in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02596

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