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Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  In-House Counsel & Litigator
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I am a school nurse and have been years. I was given a large

Customer Question

I am a school nurse and have been for 25 years. I was given a large school here in Durham that happens to be one of the highest rated schools in the area and the principal had a troublesome reputation.
I had a student come in mid year as a returning student who needed ativan for her panic disorder. I had the psychiatrist order and the parents were in my office regularly.
However, the principal called me in saying he wanted me to close the door when I saw that student coming…in essence he wanted her out. I told him I could not do that and he began to harass me and block the student from receiving the medication.
Ultimately I left the school at his request and his letter read that I had to be escorted of the property…and I was a troublesome employee…I had no help from my supervisor as she did not want to confront him…although she kept telling me to keep "bucking him as he can't keep doing this".
I had an attorney write a demand letter for me stating he had violated ADA. I really would like to proceed with a suit…as he did not answer the demand letter. I will need your opinion as I know this is not an easy case.
Thank you for replying.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Very interesting issue. You may very well have a valid claim against the school and the principal. However, if it has been more than 180 days since you left the school, then you will be procedurally blocked from filing a claim with the EEOC in view of the ADA violations that were committed by this principal.

That said, since you will be asserting a claim on behalf of an individual that has a known handicap that has been discriminated against, there may be other options, even if 180 days have elapsed since your departure or the last discriminatory action.

You can by-pass the EEOC and go directly to the US Department of Justice to file a complaint to let them know what has transpired here. While the actions of the principal are not necessarily a violation of the False Claims Act, you could and would arguably be a whistleblower and this would be similar to a Qui tam suit...or suit by a private citizen with direct knowledge of governmental wrong doing.

The suit could work to clear your record and result in damages for you in view of the wrongful termination. The Department of Justice could actually even file suit on your behalf in cases such as this one on occasion.

So, yes, you do appear to have a cause of action. Yes, it could be filed through the EEOC if 180 days have no elapsed since your termination or removal. Even then, you may be able to bring suit in federal court as a whisteblower of sorts that lost her job as a result of violation of federally protected civil rights of another.

Please rate my answer positively and let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Best wishes going forward!