Former employee alleges discrimination in lawsuit – The Campus

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A former employee of Allegheny College has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the institution, alleging her firing in October 2021 was discriminatory and retaliatory.
HKM’s Boston Office of Employment Attorneys filed the suit Sept. 28 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on behalf of former Director of Student Engagement Amanda Mangine. According to the lawsuit, Mangine joined the college in August 2014 and held various positions until his dismissal last year.
The lawsuit alleges that Mangine, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, was unlawfully disciplined and fired after taking time off in the summer and early fall of 2021 to care. of his mental health. According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Campus, Mangine requested a jury trial and is seeking more than $75,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, including back wages, lost wages, medical expenses and professional fees. of lawyer.
According to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Campus, the lawsuit claims that Mangine had “embodied the characteristics of an admirable Allegheny employee” and that her job performance had never before been criticized, but that after informing the college’s human resources department of her disability in May 2021, her supervisor — then vice president for student life and dean of students April Thompson — became “overly critical” of Mangine’s job performance. Thompson left the college in February 2022.
The lawsuit also alleges that the college “took no affirmative action to prevent Ms. Mangine’s supervisor from provoking her.” According to the lawsuit, this, along with an alleged failure by the college to address Mangine’s mental health issues, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit says Mangine requested and received permission from the college to take a leave of absence in July 2021, and was assured by HR that the college “cannot base any performance on the necessary leave.”
However, the lawsuit alleges that when Mangine returned from leave in early October 2021, HR told her to meet with her supervisor before returning to work. When Mangine attempted to contact HR and her supervisor about the matter, the suit alleges she received no response and ultimately contacted then-president Hilary Link due to her frustration.
Eleven days after she submitted the necessary paperwork to return from her furlough, the suit says Mangine was fired, with the college citing “job performance issues.”
In August 2021, before being fired, Mangine filed a joint complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – the federal agency responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the workplace – and the Pennsylvania Human Rights. Commission. After a year of investigation, the suit says the EEOC provided Mangine with a “termination and notice of rights” letter. According to the EEOC, such a letter – also known as a “right to sue” – is sent “if the EEOC is unable to conclude that there is a reasonable ground to believe that discrimination s is produced” and allows the employee in charge to submit his file. own independent trial.
In an emailed statement, Vice President for Enrollment Management Ellen Johnson confirmed that Mangine filed the EEOC charge but declined to comment further, writing that the college does not comment on personnel matters or specifics. legal proceedings.
“Ms. Mangine filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the College,” Johnson wrote in part. “The EEOC summarily dismissed the charge and elected not to not pursue it. Ms. Mangine then filed a complaint which is currently in the process of legal proceedings. »
Mangine’s EEOC charge was one of three such complaints filed against the college between January 2021 and March 2022. In January 2021, 13-year-old Matthew Bocchi filed his first complaint with the agency regarding allegations that his supervisors at the Office of Institutional Advancement were urging him to return to the office when he had ADA housing to work from home. In March 2022, former associate professor of Chinese Xiaoling Shi filed a lawsuit regarding the circumstances of her dismissal at the end of the last academic year.
However, Mangine’s complaint is the first accusation to see inside the courtroom. Although Bocchi’s lawsuit was refiled in April 2021 and he was granted a “right to sue” in August, he ultimately chose not to sue. Shi’s charge is currently working on the EEOC process.
HKM employment attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

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