WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) — A former employee has filed a lawsuit against Hawkeye Community College, alleging the college violated the Iowa Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to comply with its requests for COVID-19 mitigation measures met.
Christen Everett originally filed the case in Black Hawk County in October and this week the case was elevated to U.S. District Court.
Everett, who was an academic advisor to the college, alleges her rights have been violated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit alleges that Hawkeye Community College “failed to establish proper protocols responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and thereby endangering the health and safety of their employees.” She adds that the protocols entered were not adhered to.
In the lawsuit, she says she suffers from disabilities, including anxiety and depression, and that she had documentation to prove the disabilities, which classify her as disabled under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (IRCA).
As part of the lawsuit, she alleges that she has asked to work full-time from home as a shelter for her disability. This request, she claims, was twice rejected by the college.
She claims she had to resign in May 2021 due to working conditions at the university, as she felt the school was not protecting the health and safety of students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everett filed a workplace discrimination complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in April, prior to her resignation from Hawkeye Community College. In July, the ICRC issued Everett a right to prosecution, allowing the case to be heard in court.
Hawkeye Community College filed a response in federal court denying the charges against them.
KWWL has contacted Hawkeye Community College for further comment but has not heard back at the time of this article.