Former employee of nursing school files $50,000 suit

Liz Bogut

A former nursing school employee filed suit against the University for $50,000, alleging her supervisor violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to an Oct. 22 civil complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, Jeanine A. Theroux claims she was terminated from her job two years ago when her supervisor learned of her lung ailment.
Theroux worked at the University for nine years. She started as a registrar and adviser for a business graduate program in 1988 and then worked as an office manager for the nursing school.
According to the complaint, she contracted the lung condition in 1990 but said she did not need extra accommodations to perform her on-the-job duties.
Her supervisor allegedly told her she would have “hired differently” had she known about the health problem, according to the complaint.
The former office clerk filed a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action after she was fired. The office rejected her complaint in October 1997.
Neither Theroux nor her former supervisor could be reached for comment Thursday.
“We are pretty confident that the University didn’t do anything wrong or violate any of the rights the plaintiff alleges in her complaint,” said Associate General Counsel Jeffrey Vigil.
Theroux also claims she never received any unsatisfactory reviews before her employer discovered she had an illness. Instead, supervisors said her work was “constantly superb.”
She filed the lawsuit because she claims she has suffered emotional distress, losses in income and other damages in excess of $50,000, according to the complaint.
Vigil said the General Counsel will issue a formal response to Theroux’s lawsuit in a few days.

Liz Bogut covers courts and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3225.