Federal judge denies 60-year-old woman's age and disability discrimination claims against Tulane University

By Charmaine Little | May 18, 2018

A woman’s age and disability discrimination claims against a New Orleans university fell short, according to a decision filed on May 8 for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS — A woman’s age and disability discrimination claims against a New Orleans university fell short, according to a decision filed on May 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey granted Tulane University’s motion for summary judgment after one of its former employees, Sally Main, had sued it for disability and age discrimination. Main claims that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

According to the court's decision, Main, 60, worked for Tulane’s Newcomb Art Gallery from 1982 to 2015, when her position was eliminated. While the university maintained that she was let go because the gallery was undergoing major changes, Main claimed that the university was really discriminating against her. She based her claims on alleged “discriminatory” run-ins with her supervisor, Monica Ramirez-Montagut.

Main accused the university of discrimination and filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that she was a victim of age discrimination, disability discrimination and retaliation. Tulane University responded with a motion for summary judgement, which the court granted.

“[The] plaintiff has no direct evidence of discrimination on age or disability,” Zainey wrote in the decision.

Zainey added that Main could not produce any evidence that suggested that her age or her PTSD played any role in the decision to terminate her employment. 

"[The] plaintiff’s claim that Tulane denied her a reasonable accommodation in light of her PTSD diagnosis is wholly without merit,” Zainey wrote in the decision. "Although [the] plaintiff admitted in her deposition that she did not request an accommodation, she now characterizes her Nov. 10, 2014 email to Ramirez-Montagut as a request for an ADA accommodation."

Zainey also stated that the plaintiff could not prove that Tulane University let her go out of retaliation and granted the university's motion for summary judgment. 

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