Louisiana DOT employees claim sexual harassment, retaliation

By Michelle Massey | Jan 4, 2011

Two Louisiana Department of Transportation employees have filed a lawsuit claiming they were subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting the harassment.

Claiming civil rights violations, Anna M. Lewis and LaTanya C. Lewis filed suit Dec. 22 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to the complaint, LaTanya Lewis was subjected to sexual harassment by her supervisor beginning in March 2010. She claims her supervisor asked her out on several occasions, sent several inappropriate text messages and made inappropriate comments. She claims she filed an internal grievance regarding the alleged harassment.

The following day she was reprimanded for allegedly not following orders. The department issued a no sexual harassment finding in response to her grievance. When she attempted to appeal the decision, she claims the compliance office dismissed the accusations and instead accused her of allegedly engaging in improper conduct and disrespect toward her supervisor.

Lewis claims she was retaliated against for filing the grievance including being given heavy assignments, removal of responsibilities, and assigned tasks that were not only dangerous but were also in violation of safety regulations.

Defendant Anna Lewis participated in LaTanya Lewis's sexual harassment grievance. As a result, she claims she was retaliated against by unfavorable work assignments, reprimands and overall hostile work environment.

LaTanya Lewis was employed with the defendant since May 2000 and Anna Lewis was employed with the defendant since November 1980.

The women are seeking compensatory damages for emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, retaliation, attorney's fees and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Baton Rouge attorney Dan M. Scheuermann.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04600

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