Louisville, KY

Wal-Mart wins female Santa dispute

October 09, 2000
A discrimination complaintfiled against Wal-Mart for barring a female employee from playing Santa Claus was thrown outMonday by a state panel that said the woman wasn't convincing. 
     Customer service representative Marta Brown volunteered for therole in 1995, dressing in traditional Santa garb. Managers at the Morganfield store elected to go with a male Santa after a customer saidher child had asked about Santa's breasts. 
     The company feared complaints about a female Santa would hurtWal-Mart's reputation and affect Christmas sales. Wal-Mart also argued that Brown wasn't convincing as Santa, and the Commission on HumanRights agreed. 
     "Unfortunately, Ms. Brown's debut as Santa Claus was less thansuccessful," Commissioner Karen McCord said. 

Papa John harassment suit dismissed

June 26, 2000
A harassment case involving Papa John's chief executive officer John H. Schnatter has been dismissed. 
    Lesli P. Workman, 30, sued Schnatter, 38, and the pizza chain in May 1998, alleging sexual discrimination, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and harassing communications. 
    The lawsuit and a counterclaim filed by Schnatter were dismissed June 5. Judge John Potter, who had ordered mediation, said the lawyers for each side told him the case had been settled. 
    Attorneys declined to say whether they had settled the case. 

Judge ends Ky. desegregation plan

June 21, 2000
A group of black parents has successfully argued that a 25-year-old desegregation order for Louisville schools actually discriminates against their children.
     U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II lifted the order Tuesday, saying the vestiges of the racially separate system in Kentucky's largest school district are all but gone.
     Parents had sued in hopes of getting their children into Central High School – once Louisville's only public high school for black students.
     Because of a 1975 federal court order that ordered Jefferson County to achieve racial balance in its schools – and because not enough whites chose to go to Central – some black children were blocked from attending its Magnet Career Academy.

Santa sues Wal-Mart for sexual discrimination

August 23, 1999
A woman who lost her role as Santa Claus at Wal-Mart when a customer complained it was a man's job is seeking $67,000 from the nation's biggest retailer for lost wages and pain and suffering.
    The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights heard arguments today in the sex discrimination complaint of Marta Brown against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
    "Mrs. Brown proved she could play the role of Santa, but she was rejected based on her female status," said her attorney, Alteata McWilliams. "Mrs. Brown was totally humiliated." 

KY court asked to end school case

June 16, 1999
The first step in what could be an extended, community debate was launched yesterday when a lawyer for a parents' group asked a federal judge to sweep away the remaining portions of Jefferson County's school-desegregation decree.
    The request comes in response to U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II's ruling last week that parts of the 24-year-old decree remain in force. Heyburn's ruling set a July 12 deadline for anyone interested in preserving or scrapping the desegregation decree to put arguments before his court. 

KY schools remain under 1975 integration order

June 11, 1999
A federal judge in Louisville has ruled that some parts of a 1975 school desegregation decree in Jefferson County, Ky., are still in effect and that the Board of Education remains obligated "to operate a school system free from the vestige of racially identifiable schools."
    While the judge, John G. Heyburn II, found no fault with the current student-assignment plan -- which uses guidelines based on race -- he opened the door for people to come forward and challenge the remaining portion of the decree. 

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