Longtime school district employee alleges unlawful firing

By Carol Ostrow | Jul 14, 2015

A longtime employee is suing a school district, alleging retaliatory age-based discrimination in violation of the ADEA in her dismissal.

Irene Fuga, 65, of Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit June 25 against Keystone Oaks School District in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, alleging unlawful employment practices in her 2014 job loss.

According to the complaint, Fuga had been employed with the defendant since 1989 and her position was technically renewed on an annual basis. The suit says the plaintiff never had to “reapply” for the continuation of her job in the past. The suit says when Fuga approached the district about extending her contract in August 2013 following a political controversy involving her husband’s position in the school system, she was reassured she would still have a position. After a new board of education took office, she was informed that her job might be “redefined” and was eliminated June 30, 2014, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff contends a 35-year-old male was hired to replace her, at a salary $23,350 higher than hers, and she was not given a new position. She alleges distress, loss of reputation, humiliation and inconvenience, and argues she was fired because of her age, because she opposed the unlawful action and for political reasons.

Fuga seeks declaratory judgment, injunctive action, reinstatement with seniority and benefits, back pay, compensatory and liquidated damages, attorney fees and costs. She is represented by attorneys Samuel Cordes and Christine Elzer of Samuel J. Cordes & Associates in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-00840-MPK.

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