Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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A Textbook Case of Sexual Harassment

NASHVILLE (CN) - In a textbook case of sexual harassment, a woman claims in court that Uncle Bud's Catfish Shack fired her because a boss claimed "there was too much tension in the workplace" after her supervisors and co-workers passed around nude photos of her.

Jennifer Madonia sued Uncle Bud's of Murfreesboro and affiliates, dba Uncle Bud's Catfish Shack, in Federal Court. She also sued Craig Dever and Jay Smith, who did business as Uncle Bud's in Rutherford County, but who, according to the company, are no longer with Uncle's Buds.

Madonia claims she had been working at Uncle Bud's Catfish Shack in Murfreesboro for not quite a month when a co-worker "obtained explicit nude images of plaintiff and displayed them to plaintiff's coworkers and supervisors in a malicious attempt to harass plaintiff."

This co-worker is not named as a defendant, though he is named.

Madonia says she complained to the bosses, only to find that her "supervisors were passing the images around among themselves."

"Plaintiff was told there would be an investigation, but instead plaintiff's hours were cut back and there was no investigation," she says in the complaint.

"When plaintiff complained about plaintiff's hours being cut back, and asked about the progress of the investigation, plaintiffs supervisor Michael Ann Hassel told plaintiff there was too much tension in the workplace, and fired plaintiff."

No one else was fired, Madonia says.

Hassel is not named as a defendant.

Defendants Dever and Smith are no longer with the company, a manager at Uncle Bud's Nashville location told Courthouse News.

Uncle Bud's Murfreesboro outlet, where Madonia worked, closed in September 2013, company officials said. It specialized in catfish, shrimp, clam, oysters, alligator tail and fried chicken. It served beer in 16-ounce cans and was decorated with photos of anglers and their catches.

Madonia seeks back pay and punitive damages.

She is represented by Jerry Farmer in Murfreesboro.

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