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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Former Albemarle County Public Schools Employee Sues for Employment Discrimination

Written by: Sam Orlando

Charlottesville, VA – A new civil rights lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia today by Tracy Childers against Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS). This lawsuit, documented under Case No. 3:23-cv-00063, alleges employment discrimination and highlights key issues surrounding disability accommodation and retaliation in the workplace.

Background of the Case

Tracy Childers, a veteran teacher with over 20 years of service, has brought this action against ACPS, citing failure to provide reasonable accommodation for her disabilities, which include stress and anxiety disorder, PTSD, and fibromyalgia. The lawsuit also alleges retaliation against Ms. Childers for her requests for accommodation and complaints about disability discrimination.

Details from the Complaint

According to the complaint, the issues began in September 2018 and have continued to the present. Ms. Childers claims that she faced challenges in obtaining reasonable accommodations since 2018, which were exacerbated by the school district's delay and failure to engage in a timely and effective interactive process. This has allegedly led to heightened anxiety and physical manifestations of her emotional disabilities.

Claims of Retaliation and Harassment

The lawsuit further asserts that ACPS's Human Resources and Administration departments have engaged in harassment concerning Ms. Childers' disabilities and need for reasonable accommodation. The complaint details how these actions have not only hindered her ability to perform her job effectively but have also had severe personal consequences, including impacting her marriage and children's emotional well-being.

Seeking Redress

Ms. Childers is seeking lost wages, reduced retirement benefits, compensation for additional medical expenses, and compensatory damages totaling over $300,000. The lawsuit emphasizes the ongoing harm to her professional reputation and personal life, leading to incapacitation and hospitalization.

Implications of the Lawsuit

This case puts a spotlight on the challenges faced by employees in securing accommodations for disabilities and the potential for retaliation in the education sector. It raises serious concerns about the adherence of educational institutions to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the protection of employee rights.

ACPS’s Response

At the time of this writing, Albemarle County Public Schools has not publicly responded to the lawsuit. The case is expected to proceed to trial, where a more detailed examination of the allegations and defenses will unfold.

Note: This article is based on the information provided in the lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The allegations in the lawsuit are just that – allegations. The defendants in the case may have a different account of the events in question.

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