Husband’s fight in restaurant leads to sexual harassment lawsuit after wife is terminated

By Michelle Keahey | Jan 14, 2013


NEW ORLEANS - A Tangipahoa Parish woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer that claims the company terminated her employment instead of investigating claims of possible sexual harassment, following an incident at a local fast-food restaurant.

Natasha Williams filed the lawsuit against Cardinal Health 200 on Dec. 12 in federal court in New Orleans.

Williams was hired by Cardinal Health in December 2003 and had no disciplinary action prior to the incident that occurred on Sept. 14, 2011.

According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred as Williams was on her meal break off the worksite. Williams and her family were at McDonald’s when her husband and one of her co-worker’s got into a fistfight. After the fight ended, Williams returned to the jobsite and met with two supervisors. She told the supervisors that she did not know why her husband would get in a fight with her co-worker.

Williams was sent home on paid leave pending a police investigation.  Four days after the fight, Williams’ husband told her that he had gotten into the fight because of some text messages the co-worker had sent to Williams’ cell phone. Williams claims she had not seen the messages. The husband had a previous confrontation with the co-worker about the messages in July 2011.

The plaintiff returned to work on Sept. 19 and told her supervisors what she had learned. According to the lawsuit, she worked her regular schedule for the rest of the week and was fired on Sept. 26, 2011 for not being truthful in an investigation.

The defendant is accused of discriminating against Williams because of her race and for violating Title VII by retaliating against Williams for having participated in an investigation of workplace sexual harassment.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for back pay, front pay, loss of earnings, punitive damages, interest, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

Williams is represented by Thomas J. Hogan Jr. of Hogan & Hogan in Hammond. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:12-cv-02935

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