NEW ORLEANS — A Jefferson Parish woman is suing the owners of Louisiana coffee business, alleging she was fired because she became pregnant. 

Melissa M. Locke filed a lawsuit July 26 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Santa Maria Coffeehouse LLC, Zeppole, Inc., Real Coffee, Inc., Real Nina LLC, Real Pinta LLC, Giuseppe LaRocca and Michael Williams, alleging wrongful termination and violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

According to the complaint, Locke, who had started work for the defendants in 2003 as a barista and was later promoted to manage multiple coffeehouses, was entitled, as an eligible employee, to leave for a total of 12 workweeks for the 12-month period following the birth of her child in March 2015. The suit says the defendants terminated her employment April 1, 2015.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants fired her while she was on maternity leave.

Locke seeks a trial by jury, lost wages, salary and employment benefits, an equal amount of liquidated damages, reinstatement and promotion, attorney fees, legal costs and expert witness fees. She is represented by attorneys John A. Venezia and Julie O'Shesky of Venezia & Associates APLC in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-13233

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA - 70113

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