GONZALEZ, La. (CN) – A woman claims the Ascension Council on Aging fired her after a news station broadcast a story that a co-worker had twice “brandished” a handgun at work. She claims she was fired after a manager threatened to fire whoever had reported the gun to the media.
Donna Lambert’s complaint in Ascension Parish Court does not state whether she reported the handgun to the media or not. But she claims that a manager at the nonprofit threatened to fire the person who did, and that she was fired a week later.
Lambert says she had informed the council that a coworker had twice brought a handgun to work.
“Specifically, in the weeks proceeding (sic) petitioner’s termination, she advised the defendant through her supervisor, that on two separate occasions a co-worker brandished a handgun or an object that appeared to be a handgun on the premises owned and operated by the defendant,” according to the complaint.
Lambert says her coworker’s handguns “became the topic of discussion for a local media source which aired a story about the incident on local television news.”
She adds: “Immediately thereafter, petitioner’s supervisor advised her and her co-workers that she intended to terminate the employment of whomever disclosed the violations of law to the local media.”
Then, “approximately one week following her supervisor’s threat to terminate her employment, defendant in fact terminated her employment,” Lambert says.
Lambert seeks lost wages, future lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering. She is represented by Charles Dirks III of Baton Rouge.
In the 5 years from 2004 through 2008, there were an average of 564 workplace homicides a year in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of 421 workplace homicides in 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 80 percent of the killings were the result of shooting.
The bureau found that four out of five workplace homicide victims were male, of whom just 4 percent were shot by relatives or acquaintances, while 28 percent of women killed at work were killed by someone they knew.