Tulane Education Fund administrators named in lawsuit

By Mary Ann Magnell | Oct 22, 2018

NEW ORLEANS — A lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court against Administrators of the Tulane Education Fund by a former employee alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

The suit was filed on Oct. 3 in the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of plaintiff Daniela Halliburton. She claimed she was discriminated against on the basis of her disability, which was listed in the documents as depression. She also alleges that the defendant “retaliated against her for complaining about unlawful discrimination and for taking protected leave under the FMLA.”

Halliburton began working for the defendant as a temporary worker in 1997 and was hired on a permanent basis “in or around February 1998.” She was promoted to the position of Lead Applications Specialist in 2004 and held this position until she was terminated in May 2017.

She claimed that while she was still on “intermittent leave protected by the FMLA and after reporting her complaints about Defendant’s discrimination and retaliation, Plaintiff received several unjustified ‘Counseling Reports' and performance evaluations from Defendants criticizing her job performance.” According to the filing, the defendant placed the plaintiff on “an unlawful three-day unpaid suspension in violation the FMLA, the ADA, and the FLSA.” 

Halliburton also claimed she was blamed by the defendant for reporting physical threats that were made by a co-worker. 

“To this very day,” stated the filing, “it remains unclear to Plaintiff how Defendants could possibly blame her for the threats that a co-worker made to her, particularly when there was a corroborating co-worker who verified the threats made against Plaintiff and others.” 

The lawsuit states four causes of actions, including violations of the FLSA, Retaliation/Discrimination under the FMLA, Retaliation under the ADA and Disability Discrimination/Failure to Accommodate under the ADA.

Halliburton seeks a declaratory judgment that “The acts and practices of the Defendants…are in violations of the laws of the United States and Louisiana, injunctive relief, an award of lost wages, including lost fringe benefits, which resulted from the unlawful discrimination and retaliation complained of herein, reinstatement or front pay in lieu thereof, compensatory and punitive damages, liquidated damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, attorneys fees, expenses and costs….equitable relief and other relief this Court deems just and proper.”

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case No. is 2:18-cv-09196.

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