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Posted in Newsletter on April 26, 2017   |  by Gary Burger

Victory! Employment Disability Discrimination

We just settled a disability discrimination case for $84,000 cash plus nearly $25,000 in additional benefits.

Many years ago our client, Gina, suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was attacked by a violent patient of hers and had severe PTSD. She switched careers, obtained her doctorate, and began teaching special needs students for the St. Louis County Special School District.

After many years teaching for the District, Gina was moved to a highly violent environment. Gina was consistently attacked by particularly violent students. Gina repeatedly requested to be kept away from violent students as an accommodation for her PTSD disability. The District failed to offer her an accommodation.

Gina is a highly experienced and accomplished educator and The Special School District has over 2,000 teachers placed at schools all over St. Louis County (with many safe and docile students). Instead of moving her to a safer location, the District retaliated against her by taking her out of the classroom and placing Gina in her own “office” – a broom closet! She was not permitted to teach any students, anywhere, and was forced to sit at a desk inside of a converted broom closet.

Clearly, the District was wrong to try to get her to resign. After complaining about the District’s retaliation, the District retaliated against her yet again by moving her to another group of highly violent students!

Gina tried to move to other locations and applied to nearly 40 positions within the Special School District. She received no interviews – or even call-backs. Meanwhile, younger, less educated, and less experienced teachers were awarded these positions.

The District’s top offer was $3,000. So we filed suit and extensively litigated the case. Employment Discrimination law in Missouri is complex. Here's the statute. We filed two lawsuits and fought hard against the District in an administrative challenge in Cole County as well as the primary lawsuit in St. Louis County. After fighting hard for Gina, the District settled at mediation.

We’re very excited for Gina and pleased that we were able to obtain a great recovery for her. Here's a blog I did on employment discrimination recently.