NEW ORLEANS – A former security guard at the New Orleans Museum of Art who suffered a work-related injury to her knee and later fired by the museum for allegedly not showing up to work is suing.
Chelsey Johnson filed suit against the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Sept. 6.
The suit states that on Sept. 12, 2012 the plaintiff, then a security guard NOMA, suffered a work-related injury to her left knee after tripping and falling on damaged carpeting. She was then treated for the injuries and placed on restricted work status.
A month after the incident, a letter of representation was faxed to NOMA on the plaintiff’s behalf, which included a “no work” status from her doctor.
That same day, the Chief of Security at NOMA posted a memo to the museum’s security personnel, stating, “Chelsey Johnson is not allowed to enter the museum either through the employee entrance nor the main entrance. If Johnson wishes to speak with anyone she has to seek permission from the Chief of Security. This memo pertains to security attendants, police officers, and sheriff’s deputies. The above stated directive will remain in effect until further notice," the lawsuit states.
On Feb. 20, the plaintiff received a letter informing her that her employment at NOMA was terminated, despite the fact that the plaintiff was still under the care of the employee’s physicians.
NOMA is accused of discharging the plaintiff in a retaliatory and wrongful manner.
The plaintiff seeks an unspecified amount in damages for lost wages, mental anguish, emotional distress, attorney’s fees, and legal interest.
The plaintiff is represented by Charlsey Wolff of Wolff & Wolff in New Orleans.
The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.
Case no. 2013-8472.