Russell Stover Chocolates seeks to move discrimination case to federal court

By Amanda Thomas | May 20, 2018

© Jeffreymetcalf31 |

KANSAS CITY – Russell Stover Chocolates has filed a notice to move a discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee from Jackson County Circuit Court to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. 

The notice was filed May 16.

Under 28 U.S.C. section 1332(a), the defendants state the diversity of citizenship between Arkansas resident Ana Eissouh; Russell Stover, a Missouri company with a principal place of business in Kansas City; and Kim Miller of Greenwood, Missouri. The defendants also notes that the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000, which also gives the court jurisdiction. 

Eissouh seeks damages, including back pay, under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) resulting from alleged national origin discrimination. She also seeks alleges a hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation, for which she also seeks damages. 

The petition notes that Eissouh’s base hourly pay was $21.08 per hour, which totals nearly $44,000 a year. It alleges that Eissouh’s employment ended in April 2017 when her position was eliminated. The case is expected to go to trial in the summer of 2019.

“By that time, the plaintiff’s claim for lost wages would be approximately $87,692.80,” the motion said.

According to the petition, Eissouh requested leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for her child and husband. She claims the defendants’ responses to her requests created a hostile work environment and that when she complained she was retaliated against. She said their actions toward her were “in retaliation for me exercising my right to medical leave.”

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