Dan Harkins Jul. 13, 2015, 3:00pm


SHREVEPORT -- A black woman is suing her former employer for alleged racist treatment and retaliation.

Cynthia Draper filed a complaint on June 26 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, against Willis Knighton Medical Center, doing business as the Oaks of Louisiana. 

Draper was hired by the Oaks on June 20, 2011, as a caregiver, with Janice Latvola as her manager.

Draper alleges that she was given "patients ... in need of more assistance," the lawsuit states, while Latvola's "personal employees" handled "patients with fewer needs." 

Then, in 2012, Latvola, who is white, began to aim "frequent, regular and ongoing racist comments" at Draper. For instance, the lawsuit cites Latvola as saying, "black women need to be watched; black men don't know how to act; black women let black men bring them to work and keep their car all day; black people won't work," etc.

When Draper complained to human resources, an alleged series of retaliatory actions led to her termination on June 19, 2013. 

The plaintiff, citing race discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation, seeks unspecified compensatory damages, plus court costs, interest and attorneys' fees. 

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Nelson W. Cameron of Shreveport. 

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, case number 5:15-cv-01968.

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