Gender discrimination alleged in suit against Hardee's

Steve Gonzalez Apr. 24, 2006, 7:08am

A woman claiming gender discrimination filed suit against her former fast food employer in Madison County Circuit Court April 21.

Susanne Lavigne claims she was fired from the Glen Carbon Hardee's on Feb. 8, 2005, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and amendments made by the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

She was hired in February of 2003 and was employed as an assistant manager, cashier, and food costs control customer service relations representative. Hardee's is owned by CKE Restaurant Group in Anaheim, Calif.

Represented by Michael Brunton of Collinsville, Lavigne is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $250,000, plus all costs of the suit.

"Prior to her termination, Lavigne was performing her job according to her employer's legitimate expectations," the complaint states.

Lavigne also claims that she was terminated because she received workers' compensation benefits after an Aug. 10, 2004, injury she sustained at Hardee's.

When she was terminated, she claims her manager, Glen Bobeian, told her she was being fired because she failed to handle the deposit of a traveler's check in a proper manner.

She claims Bobeian intentionally and wrongfully interfered with her economic relationship that she had through her employment at Hardee's.

"Glen Bobeian acted maliciously with personal animosity against plaintiff and Bobeian acted for his own personal interests contrary to those of the corporation, when he terminated plaintiff's employment," the complaint alleges.

Lavigne claims as a result of Bobeian's alleged intentional interference with business relationship, she has lost wages and fringe benefits and will continue to lose wages and fringe benefits in the future.

She also claims that she has suffered damage to her reputation as a result of the wrongful termination.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

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