Discrimination case vs. NMC dismissed

Posted on May 12 1999

U.S. District Court Judge Alex R. Munson threw out a lawsuit filed by a former instructor of the Northern Marianas College against the educational institution for alleged discrimination in the work force due to lack of jurisdiction.

Moreover, Katherine Douglas failed to file her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within the 180-day period as required by law.

“The uncontroverted facts properly before the court show that plaintiff alleged February 22, 1994 as the date of the discrimination against her and that the EEOC received her Notice of Claim of Discrimination on November 14, 1994, which date is well outside the 180-day period the statute provides for filing claims,” Munson said.

Douglas was a former early childhood teacher at NMC, now known as the Lab School, and was suffering from multiple sclerosis. She was hired for a one-year contract and was not renewed.

However, NMC denied this non-renewal allegation and claimed that she was offered with a two-year contract, according to a press statement.

Douglas reportedly acknowledged this offer but declined to renew her contract, it added.

In her complaint with the EEOC, she said that her non-renewal was based solely on her disability. The agency received her complaint several months after her employment with NMC expired.

Her lawyer asserted that she made earlier contact with EEOC following her meeting with NMC President Agnes McPhetres in March 1994. However, no documents were submitted to the court to support this claim.

The court likewise granted her the time to bring in additional evidence but failed to present genuine material of fact regarding her failure to satisfy the time requirement.

In a press statement, McPhetres maintained that the college did not discriminate against Douglas.

“I will not tolerate discrimination against anyone at NMC. Diversity of cultures, races, sexes, ages, religions and physical abilities and disabilities help create a wonderful learning environment,” she said.

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