A former professor of selling on the College of Southern Maine claims she was fired three months after getting tenure for searching for scientific details about how carrying face masks limits unfold of COVID-19.
Patricia Griffin of Outdated Orchard Seaside sued USM, former President Glenn Cummings and the College of Maine System on Thursday in U.S. District Courtroom in Portland.
Griffin claims that she by no means refused to put on a masks whereas educating.
She is searching for damages of greater than $100,000 for ache and struggling, again pay and advantages, previous and future financial, lack of popularity, emotional misery and the lack of life’s pleasures.
Margaret Nagle, interim spokesperson for the system, didn’t touch upon the particular allegations within the lawsuit.
“The College of Maine System will vigorously defend itself and the opposite named events in opposition to this lawsuit,” she stated. “We look ahead to presenting the details in court docket.”
Griffin’s legal professional, Stephen Smith of Augusta, didn’t instantly return a request for remark Thursday morning. He beforehand represented Maine enterprise house owners who sued Gov. Janet Mills early within the pandemic over shutdowns. That lawsuit was later withdrawn.
Griffin started educating at USM in Gorham and Portland in 2015 and was granted tenure on June 25, 2021, based on the grievance. In mid-August 2021, the second 12 months of the pandemic, the college carried out a compulsory masks coverage however Cummings allegedly didn’t put on one at a luncheon that Griffin attended remotely.
Subsequently, Griffin requested the dean of the School of Administration and Human Service, who was not sued, for scientific information and research to help the masks mandate. Nothing was offered to her, the grievance stated. Instantly after a web-based assembly with the dean, Griffin’s one in-person and two on-line courses allegedly had been faraway from the autumn semester’s schedule.
Throughout a pre-disciplinary listening to on Aug. 27, 2021, Griffin was instructed that she wouldn’t be allowed to show all of her courses remotely though some male professors had been allowed to take action, the grievance alleged. Griffin allegedly was instructed at that very same listening to that she would solely be allowed to carry all of her courses on-line if she resigned her full-time place and agreed to work part-time.
On Sept. 8, then-President Cummings despatched Griffin a letter wherein he falsely claimed that she had refused to observe the masks coverage, which brought about Griffin emotional misery, based on the grievance. She allegedly refused to attend a listening to on her employment standing as a result of Cummings can be in attendance.
Griffin allegedly was fired efficient Sept. 22.
The lawsuit claims that the college violated her First Modification proper to free speech and her 14th Modification proper to due course of. Griffin additionally claims her termination violated the Maine Human Rights Act as a result of USM allowed male professors to show courses remotely.