A Louisiana sewerage department employee is suing Jefferson Parish for not taking action to protect him and other employees from an alleged verbally and sexually abusive supervisor.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, Jefferson Parish Sewage Department worker Lawrence Scieneaux claims his supervisor Donald Jackson, a 20-year sewerage employee, held “bullring sessions” during which employees were made to stand in a circle – sometimes as long as an hour and a half – while Jackson singled out employees and berated them in front of others.
In September 2018, after five years of enduring Jackson’s attacks, Scieneaux filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after which he says Jackson retaliated against him. Scieneaux claims Jackson “routinely makes sexually derogatory comments” toward him and subjects him to “frequent sexual humiliation in front of other employees.”
Jefferson Parish’s Human Resources Department launched an investigation, which Scieneaux claims identified other employees who admitted they were afraid to come forward about the abuse for fear they would be retaliated against and Jackson would “do to me what he does to Lawrence.”
Jackson allegedly told parish investigators that he had not used homophobic or sexual comments with his subordinates, and that if he had ever been negative with them during the so-called bullring sessions, “it was never told to me.” Jackson also suggested that Scieneaux was upset because he had been passed over for promotions.
Scieneaux’s lawsuit aims to hold the parish responsible for not protecting Scieneaux and other employees from Jackson’s abusive behavior. The parish declined to comment. Meanwhile, both men remain employed at the sewerage department.
Larry Golston in the firm’s Consumer Fraud section handles claims involving employment issues including sexual harassment, retaliation and whistleblowers.