NEW ORLEANS – A Tangipahoa Parish woman says her employer, the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice Commission, created a hostile work environment that forced her out of a job.
Latiya T. Smith filed a lawsuit Dec. 21 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the Florida Parishes Juvenile Justice Commission and the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center, alleging racial and gender discrimination.
According to the complaint, Smith started working for the defendant in 2008 as a member of the juvenile detention staff and was later promoted to assistant shift supervisor. After the detention center’s management investigated all employee cellphone and computer use, the suit says Smith was cited for a violation of the rules regarding cellphone use. Although she was then asked to resign, Smith declined.
To cope with work stress surrounding pressure on her to resign, Smith took a Family and Medical Leave Act-authorized leave of absence in October 2014, but upon returning to work in January, she was not issued a company cellphone, was not allowed to use computers or work alone, and was ostracized by management, the suit says. Although Smith resigned on March 22, she claims she was involuntarily terminated by the hostile work environment.
Smith demands a trial by jury and seeks reinstatement, plus lost wages, benefits and other compensatory damages. She is represented by attorney Thomas J. Hogan Jr. of the Hammond law firm Hogan & Hogan.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Case number 2:15-cv-06972