Carol Ostrow Jul. 27, 2015, 10:41am


A former school employee is suing a school on charges of race discrimination in connection with her 2015 termination.

Chelsea L. Nicholas of Terrebonne Parish sued Riverside Academy of Reserve in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana on July 15, alleging civil rights violation in her January job dismissal.

The suit states that Nicholas, who worked for the defendant for three years as a science instructor and athletic coach, was stripped of her responsibilities when parents on the school board allegedly complained about having to work with a “stern black woman.”

According to the suit, the plaintiff was singled out by her superiors for harassment and disparate treatment. For example, she alleges that she was made to sign a contract stipulating that she would need written permission to talk to students not directly involved in her coaching activities.

Contending that no other employees were restricted to such terms, Nicholas asserts that she was terminated on Jan. 19 after she refused to sign the contract.

The lawsuit states that the defendant’s employment practices were unlawful and intentional. The plaintiff claims emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life and lowered self-esteem. The suit also states that Nicholas seeks special damages, having suffered a miscarriage following her unlawful discharge.

Requesting injunctive relief, compensation of more than $75,000, back and front pay, interest, attorney’s fees, expenses, and court costs, Nicholas is represented by Lillian Thornton and Craig Stewart in Houma.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana Case 2:15-cv-02622-MLCF-JCW.

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