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Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Stephen F. Austin Employee Accuses University of Disability Discrimination

By Dan Atkerson on January 13, 2016

Disabled office worker with colleagueA San Augustine man has filed a lawsuit against Stephen F. Austin University for alleged disability discrimination. Timothy Duggar filed his suit against the school in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the lawsuit, Duggar has been an employee at the university since 1999, where he eventually worked his way up to interim director of the Parking and Traffic Office. He held that position until January 2011. Starting in 2014, Duggar says that he began receiving a number of bad performance reviews, as well as some written and verbal reprimands.

The plaintiff says that he had a discussion with someone in human resources, who suggested to him that he file an official grievance report asking that the negative performance reviews and reprimands be expunged from his personnel file.

A few months later, Duggar was injured at work. Shortly after his injury he was examined and cleared to return to work on light duty. While others were allowed to come back to work under similar circumstances, Duggar says that his supervisor forbade him from returning to work until he had been cleared for full duty.

Duggar is accusing the supervisor, the department, and the university of disability discrimination and workplace retaliation. He is seeking compensatory damages for lost wages and benefits, as well as reinstatement to his former job position.

Workplace Discrimination Against Those with Disability

Disability discrimination is often overlooked or swept under the rug these days, allowing it to slowly become one of the most common forms of workplace discrimination today. Most experts agree that disability discrimination, while not usually malicious or intentional, is a widespread problem in the American job market.

Employment decisions such as hiring, firing, promotions, raises, reprimands, etc. should be made solely on the basis of merit rather than a person’s disability, no matter if it is a permanent or temporary disability.

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