A building manager is not throwing away his shot against his employer, the Kennedy Center. Joseph Burgess filed a $1 million lawsuit on Monday against the center over a dispute involving a signed Hamilton poster. Burgess’ civil suit against the Kennedy Center says officials treated him unfairly and alleges defamation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and creation of a hostile work environment. In the suit, Burgess says he asked for and was promised a “Hamilton” poster, which he then arranged to have signed by the musical’s cast during their 2018 run at the Kennedy Center.
After the poster was signed, members of Kennedy Center management reportedly asked for the poster back, and Burgess complied with the request, the suit says. The official who gave him the poster then sent an email to other Kennedy Center employees saying that Burgess should not be allowed backstage due to complaints from managers and cast members, which Burgess believes was libelous. Burgess also says the collection of performance memorabilia by employees is a common practice at the theater. The lawsuit names the Kennedy Center and an additional employee as defendants.