A New Orleans woman claims that she was harassed and then wrongfully terminated from her job as an accountant for Folgers, according to a suit filed Jan. 17 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Stephanie Ruiz is suing the Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Co., the Folgers Coffee Distributing Co. and Smucker Foodservice Inc., as well as their employee, James DiMarco, after DiMarco allegedly harassed Ruiz and then wrongfully terminated her employment.

New Orleans attorney Richard Voorhies III filed the suit on behalf of Ruiz. The petition claims that Ruiz climbed "the corporate management ladder" for 11 years while working for Folgers.

When the company merged with Smuckers, DiMarco was brought on to be Ruiz's supervisor and he allegedly "treated plaintiff differently than male members of the accounting department."

Ruiz claims she suffered "discriminatory and disparate treatment from Mr. DiMarco on account of her gender." She also claims she field a harassment report with Folgers' human resources department, but "her complaint made matters worse."

The suit alleges that Ruiz was fired in November of 2009 and was then replaced by a male employee. The suit states that Ruiz "was actually terminated by Smucker on account of her sex and in retaliation for her complaints regarding James DiMarco's harassing and discriminatory behavior."

Ruiz claims to have suffered "extreme mental anguish and emotional distress, loss of work, salary and related benefits." The suit states that she was earning in excess of $110,000 a year in salary and benefits with Folgers.

Judge Sidney Cates IV has been assigned this case.

Orleans Parish Case 2011-00447

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