After more than a year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finally issued a decision paving the way for former Saipan Southern High School principal to file a lawsuit against Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D.
EEOC commission director Timothy A. Riera issued on Sept. 27 a notice of “dismissal and notice of rights” in Garrison's complaint against Sablan.
Citing Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, EEOC stated that Garrison “may file a lawsuit against the respondent(s) under federal law based on this charge in federal or state court” within 90 days after receipt of the EEOC decision or the “right to sue” will be lost.
For Equal Pay Act lawsuits, EEOC said the case must be filed in federal or state court within two years or three years for willful violations of the alleged EPA underpayment.
Garrison said yesterday that he will continue to pursue all avenues to find justice.
“It's clear to me there was wrongdoing on the part of the commissioner. She knew it, I knew it, and so did everyone else. It's just unfortunate that instead of choosing to take the high road and do what was right, she let her ego get in the way. As for filing the lawsuit...I will continue to pursue all options in finding justice for this case,” Garrison told Saipan Tribune.
Sablan declined to comment, saying she has yet to see the EEOC notice.
Based on the affidavit submitted by the former principal to the EEOC Honolulu Office, Garrison accused Sablan of constructive discharge, harassment, retaliation, and discipline and discharge.
Garrison resigned last year citing irreconcilable differences with the PSS leadership. He tendered his resignation effective Sept. 1, 2011, but prior to this date, Sablan placed him on administrative leave until the end of his contract. Garrison described this as retaliation by Sablan.
Garrison filed the discrimination complaint against Sablan in July 2011.