A former employee of Regional School Unit 21 has filed a suit against the Kennebunk-based school district alleging she was sexually harassed in the workplace by a co-worker and that the district ignored her pleas for assistance in a hostile work environment.

Kennebunk-based attorney Danielle Quinlan, filed the complaint on behalf of Andrea Lauletta on Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court in Portland. The suit alleges that RSU 21 committed eight counts of sex-based discrimination and retaliation, including violations of the Family Medical Leave Act and the Maine Whistleblowers Protection Act.

Lauletta, who was hired as a member of RSU 21’s custodial team in September 2019, is seeking lost wages and benefits, front pay and compensatory damages for “emotional pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life.”

Portland-based attorney Christopher Taintor, who is representing RSU 21 in the civil matter, filed the district’s response to Lauletta’s complaint in U.S. District Court on Friday. Attempts to reach Taintor for an interview about the case were unsuccessful Monday night.

In the district’s response, it admits to some of the facts presented by Lauletta, such as her bringing her harassment concerns to assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools, but the district denied she was subjected to a “hostile work environment,” denying all of the allegations cited in Lauletta’s complaint.

Lauletta’s complaint identifies Meg Parkhurst as the assistant superintendent and Terri Cooper as the superintendent.


RSU 21, which serves students from the York County towns of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel, said district officials conducted a “diligent, good-faith investigation that revealed her allegations to be without substance.”

Lauletta states that she sought medical treatment in August 2021 for anxiety caused by a hostile work environment and that she took leave from her job a short while later under the Family Medical Leave Act.

But according to court records, RSU 21 said she was separated from her position in January 2022 “and further answers that she abandoned her job.”

In her 19-page complaint, Lauletta outlines the reasons why she felt like she was being harassed by a co-worker and felt unsafe in her workplace. She said the co-worker flipped one of her braids, blocked her car in the parking lot with his truck and continued to visit her on the job after the assistant superintendent issued a no-contact order.

She alleges that the school district failed to address her concerns and retaliated against her by reassigning her to a new school building. According to court records, Cooper sent Lauletta a letter dated Aug. 10, 2021, assigning her to work at the Mildred Day School effective Aug. 11.

On Jan. 26, 2021, Lauletta filed a charge of discrimination against the school district with the Maine Human Rights Commission, alleging gender discrimination and retaliation.

The complaint states that Lauletta went on leave on Aug. 30, 2021, under the Family Medical Leave Act and that the school district terminated her employment on Jan. 26, 2022.

RSU 21 was recently embroiled in a recall effort and in 2019 reached a settlement with a former teacher who filed a complaint alleging that she was retaliated against for expressing concerns about two incidents of racism.

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