Muslim woman claims workplace discrimination
Michelle Keahey Oct. 31, 2011, 3:00am
A woman is suing her employer for discrimination after she lost her job shortly after filing a criminal complaint regarding an assault by her supervisor.
Wafaa Elwakin, a Muslim, filed suit against Target Media Partners Operating Co. on June 27 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Oct. 21.
According to the complaint, Elwakin was employed by Target Media as a field sales manager. The suit claims that on Feb. 23, 2009, Elwakin's manager, a white male, was replaced by an African-American woman who allegedly made negative comments about Elwakin's ethnicity, national origin and religion.
According to the lawsuit, the new manager threatened to beat Elwakin up in front of other employees and threw an object at the plaintiff.
Elwakin was terminated on Feb. 23, 2009, after she filed a criminal complaint for assault based on the alleged act of discrimination.
The defendant is accused of negligence, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The plaintiff is seeking damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, lost or diminished reputation, including false or malicious entries into Elwakin's personnel record, lost wages, punitive damages, interest, attorney's fees and court costs.
Elwakin is represented by Donald L. Hyatt, II in New Orleans.
U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.
Case No. 2:11-cv-02648