Court partially sides with school worker accused of harassment

By Charmaine Little | Feb 9, 2019

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted some but not all of the objections from a William J. Fisher School employee accused of making advances toward his subordinate. Judge Sarah S. Vance ruled on the case on Jan. 14.

Ahead of trial for Lindsay Armond Garcia’s intentional infliction of emotional distress case against Stanley Green, Green challenged the plaintiff's discrimination complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), claiming the filing is irrelevant. The court overruled this objection, stating that the filing actually provides relevant evidence on Garcia’s claims that she experienced severe emotional distress “and the lack of welcomeness of Green’s advances,” according to the opinion. Even though Garcia’s EEOC claims are “hearsay,” if received as truth, they could serve as proof that Garcia at least tried to report Green’s alleged conduct.

The court also overruled the defendant's objection to Garcia’s affidavit. Even though Garcia’s affidavit is also considered hearsay that can’t be proved, Garcia can still use the affidavit to show that she took Green’s behavior up with the ACSA, which is connected to how much emotional distress she suffered.

The court did sustain Green’s objection to the confidential investigation report and supplemental report, stating that the reports are inadmissible and not protected by an exception under Rule 802. The court also sustained the objection to exclude ACSA’s record of Green’s hire date because it is not related to her claims at all. “The relevant dates for Garcia’s claims would instead be the date that Green met Garcia, began working with her or began harassing her,” according to the court. It found the same concerning Green’s salary change.

The court also sustained objections surrounding Green’s administrative leaves, disciplinary action charge and his termination. Green’s argument was that the ACSA documents that showed these actions against him are prejudicial rather than probative via Rule 403. The court agreed and pointed out that there are not any facts about Green’s conduct, so the forms do not have much worth concerning Garcia’s claims.

The court overruled in part an email between Tansey Magendie and Garcia about Green’s alleged inappropriate conduct, stating these emails are inadmissible. The court sustained objections to information about Green’s employment history with the school from his employment application to his background check.

It also sustained objections to the investigator’s notes and email to re-open the investigation.

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