San Rafael City Schools recently settled a wrongful termination lawsuit alleging that the district discriminated against a former employee when she requested time off to care for her newborn baby.
The district paid Krista Alexander $68,950 and charges of discrimination were dismissed, according to attorney Dan Siegel, who assisted in the lawsuit.
Alexander, who worked as the bilingual school psychologist, claimed that she was fired in June 2010 due to requests for time off to spend with her child, according to court records.
Director of special education and Alexander's supervisor Amy Baer was named in the lawsuit along with the district for refusing the psychologist's requests to work from home, as she had the previous school year, and to take one day off a week to care for her son, according to court records.
Alexander worked the 2009-10 school year, but was told that she would not be returning because of her work performance. Complaints regarding Alexander's work came from Harriet MacLean, principal at Davidson Middle School and Liz Block, principal at Laurel Dell Elementary School.
At the time she said she was entitled to nine weeks of leave under the California Family Rights Act, which allows up to 12 weeks of leave for most new parents.
The district's lawyers pushed to get the case dismissed, stating that Alexander's claims ranged "from disingenuous to puzzling.
"Nothing could make it clearer that Alexander cannot maintain her claims than her responses to the defendant's state of undisputed material facts," attorneys from Stubb & Leone stated in court documents.
According to the court records, Block informed Baer that Alexander was not attending meetings, was unwilling to perform assessment tests on students and described her behavior and work as unprofessional, unprepared or incomplete and argumentative.
"In short, all the facts regarding the negative feedback Baer got about her performance are established as true," the district's attorneys state in the court records.
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