Susan Luisi, a former Art Institute of Chicago employee has filed a lawsuit against the institution claiming she was the victim of employment sex discrimination and that she feared for her “physical safety” from her superior.
Luisi, who began employment at the organization in 2003, claimed that she was bypassed for the top purchasing job because she was a woman.
“Upon Mr. Riordon’s [the organization’s current Executive Director] arrival, Plaintiff was subject to less-favorable treatment by Defendant, compared to her male counterparts, including, but not limited to; untrue and harsh criticism, without foundation, lack of support from male members of upper management…,” the complaint states.
The complaint states, “…Mike Riordan brought Plaintiff into a conference room, closed the door and would not allow Plaintiff to leave, while verbally berating her for approximately one hour. During the berating, Mr. Riordon told Plaintiff that if she complained, no one would believe her word over his. At various times, Plaintiff was scared for her physical safety.”
Luisi brought this encounter to the attention of the Institute’s treasurer but her complaints were not addressed. She was told that the company did not wish to embarrass Mr. Riordon and thereafter Luisi was fired on June 3, 2011. She is now seeking back pay and $300,000 in punitive damages.
Discrimination occurs at all levels of employment: whether you are a top executive or a cashier working at a fast food restaurant, you can be a victim of discrimination. No matter you’re net worth or salary, you should not be discouraged by your employer from asserting your legal rights against discrimination. Contact the Harman Firm as we are experienced with dealing with a range of different salaried employees including highly paid employees with discrimination claims.