Circle K sued over claims of sexual harassment and retaliation

Catherine Melancon Dec. 11, 2012, 11:51am

Jacie N. Saunders

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman is Circle K after she claims she was harassed by a fellow employee and retaliated against.

Veronica Collins filed suit against Circle K Stories, Inc., Charlesetta Davis, Terry Buckhalter, Kenny Washington and their insurance company in the 19th Judicial Court on Nov. 26.

Collins claims Washington sexually harassed her in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Louisiana Fair Employment Practices Act.

She asserts she experienced a hostile work environment, sex discrimination after sexual harassment complaints and retaliation for complaints of sexual harassment.

The plaintiff alleges she was working at the Circle K store located at 4323 Burbank Dr. in March 2011, when Washington entered the store to perform maintenance. Collins claims Washington followed her into the office and grabbed her buttocks several times.

She informed Davis of the incident and was instructed to write a written statement.

Collins claims she was told that Washington would not be sent back to that store. She also claims she sought counseling for the incident that occurred in March 2011.

On April 19, the plaintiffs claims Washington entered the store again to conduct maintenance and bring supplies into the store. Collins asserts Washington's visit caused her severe anxiety. She reported the incident to Buckhalter, the store manager, who informed Collins that Washington would not be sent back to that store location.

On May 1, Washington entered the store again to remove a cooler, the suit claims.

Collins reported her anxiety to Buckhalter and then reported the incident to the Human Resources department of Circle K. Human Resources apologized and said it would report the incident to Davis, the suit claims.

The plaintiff also reported the incidents to the EEOC and as a result she claims her work hours decreased, the suit claims.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for attorney's fees and costs, injunctive and declaratory relief and anxiety.

The plaintiff is represented by Jacie N. Sauders of Rozas & Rozas Law Firm, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division M Judge Kay Bates.

Case no. 617251.

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