Former administrator’s lawsuit claims NPS discriminated against her during cancer treatment | New

A recently retired Norman Public Schools administrator is suing the district alleging the superintendent failed to account for her weakened immune system during cancer treatments and forced her out of her job.

Shirley Simmons – who retired as a systems and data management specialist but was previously assistant superintendent of educational services for the NPS – filed a May 11 lawsuit against the district, alleging the NPS had her discriminated against for the demands she made during her cancer treatment. Simmons retired from the district in May.

Both Simmons and NPS declined to comment on the lawsuit because it is ongoing litigation.

Simmons’ costume says she has thyroid cancer. In May 2020, shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she requested the option of working from home, citing an immune system that had been compromised by her cancer treatment and made her more vulnerable to infections, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the district — instead of granting his work-from-home request — required anyone working with Simmons to wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 transmission.

The lawsuit alleges that when Simmons explained her accommodation needs to NPS Superintendent Nick Migliorino, he “questioned whether Ms. Simmons could perform any work with her medical condition and pressured Ms. Simmons so that she leaves her job in the Norman public schools”.

“Mr. Migliorino said that Ms. Simmons should quit her job because she has cancer so she can ‘enjoy life,'” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also claims that after Simmons’ request for accommodation, she was demoted — receiving a pay cut — to data systems and management specialist, and continued to receive pressure from Migliorino to leave. she resigns. Simmons alleges that when the district opened a position for executive director of curriculum and she applied, the position was ultimately removed “to avoid having to select her.”

Simmons then received a pay cut, according to the suit.

“[The district] continued to refuse to engage in an interactive process in good faith and to offer reasonable accommodation to [Simmons] for his disability,” the lawsuit states.

Simmons’ lawsuit, which seeks that she be awarded lost wages and damages, alleges that her claim for accommodation and disability were “significant factors” in the district’s treatment of her. Prior to her retirement, Simmons’ suit notes that she worked for NPS for 20 years; Previous transcript reports show that she served as Director of Staff Development and Student Success, Principal of Truman Elementary, and Vice Principal of Irving Middle School before becoming Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.

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