Lawyer alleges civil rights violation against employer

Carol Ostrow Jul. 3, 2015, 6:30am


A lawyer is suing her former Metairie-based employer’s business consortium, alleging her treatment was racially motivated.

Michelle Charles filed a lawsuit June 22 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against PosiGen of Louisiana, PosiGen GP, PosiGen Energy Efficiency of Louisiana, PosiGen, Green Grants, PosiGen Solar Hot Water of Louisiana and PosiGen Solar Solutions, alleging unlawful racial and gender workplace discrimination.

According to the complaint, Charles, who had been employed by PosiGen as a notary and customer service liaison, was never documented in writing and that she was overlooked for various positions in the firm despite academic credentials and positive on-the-job feedback. The lawsuit states the defendants impeded Charles’ professional opportunities by creating scheduling barriers as the plaintiff desired flexibility in order to make courtroom appearances, maintain her practice and teach classes.

Charles alleges her employer required her notary skills for private clients, failed to compensate her for training other staffers, to work extra hours and incur expenses, and says the law firm denied her promotions and other promised advancements.

The suit says PosiGen failed to pay bonuses by regularly changing terms of compensation, failing to provide performance evaluations, forcing her to attend after-hours events without pay, and putting her at risk by sending her to clients’ homes without performing background checks, in one instance being sent to the home of a convicted sex offender.

The plaintiff alleges embarrassment, anti-trust violations, unlawful employment practices and unjust enrichment.

Charles seeks compensation for wages, bonuses and commissions, in addition to private notary work and legal work done outside the scope of her position. She also requests actual, consequential compensatory, special, and general damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, expenses and court costs. 

The plaintiff is representing herself. 

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02270-SM-KWR.

More News