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Race and wrongful termination subject of new lawsuit

Minnesota employees must always be mindful of the law to watch for signs of potential discrimination or other civil rights violations. This can happen in both the private and public sectors and a recent example can be seen in school district 833. A wrongful termination and racial discrimination lawsuit has been filed by a former employee. The case is against both the district and one particular administrator.

The suit alleges that the district violated both the Minnesota state Human Rights Act as well as the federal Civil Rights Act. The dispute centers around the reasons that a school psychologist’s contract was not renewed despite having no negative comments or experiences regarding her performance. In the spring of 2013, a parent’s request for her child to be evaluated was met with resistance. The psychologist, suspecting unlawful discrimination because the student was black, objected.

When the parent once again sought an evaluation the following school year, the same Caucasian employee was against it. The school’s psychologist, the only African American employee at the school, learned that a request for information about the child had been received from the federal level but the employee who opposed the evaluation failed to complete it. She spoke up via email and indicated her concerns about potential discrimination by her employers. Despite the principal recommending a contract renewal only weeks earlier, the principal in the end terminated the woman’s contract based upon the email exchanges.

When someone believes that a wrongful dismissal has occurred, there can be many issues to address. It can be helpful for people in this situation to discuss their case with an employment attorney.

Source:, “Psychologist Michele Walker sues district over contract nonrenewal,” Scott Wente, October 7, 2015

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