State worker claims discrimination started after she took FMLA leave

By Robert Hadley | Jan 13, 2016

BATON ROUGE – A disabled veteran working for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections says the state unlawfully terminated her in retaliation for her disabilities and for taking leave.

Shirley L. Givens filed a lawsuit Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against the State of Louisiana, through the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

According to the complaint, after Givens took FMLA-protected leave to care for her mother’s leg amputations and for her own damaged knee in late 2013 and early 2014, the defendant allegedly began discriminating against her. Specifically, Givens says her position was eliminated when she returned to work and that she was demoted to a job that required her to lift more weight than her physician allows due to her spinal disability. She also claims the defendant reassigned her handicapped parking space and criticized her performance, allegedly resulting in a four-week suspension and pay cut in January and February.

Givens seeks a jury trial, punitive and compensatory damages, and legal costs and interest. She is represented by attorney Christopher L. Williams of Williams Litigation LLC in New Orleans.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District Case number 3:16-CV-00008

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