A former teacher at Northwest Independent School District is filing suit over being fired from her job as a consequence of taking leave for medical reasons, according to a press release by her representation John Judge.
Autumn Stewart, former Medlin Middle School teacher, filed an employment discrimination and retaliation case Friday under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Texas Labor Code.
Stewart's complaint states her teaching assignment at Medlin Middle School included a water-damaged and mold-infested classroom. She experienced headaches, nausea, mental confusion, short-term memory loss and near liver failure during her time there.
Stewart's doctor diagnosed her with Trichothecene mycotoxin poisoning. According to Judge, NISD's failure to put Stewart in a different classroom per her and her doctor's request is "part of a pattern and practice of unlawful discrimination that culminated in the termination of [Stewart's] employment on April 11, 2016."
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"Ms. Stewart spoke out when her toxic workplace environment threatened her health, but continued to perform her teaching duties as her health permitted. Not only did the school refuse to give her a cleaner classroom, school officials accused her of faking her symptoms then fired her for defying an order to return to a building that she knew was contaminated," said Judge.
Stewart's suit accused NISD of violating states and federal disability discrimination statutes when the board of trustees terminated her employment because the decision was motivated by her disability.
Stewart filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.