A middle school counselor and social worker has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination alleging she was unfairly fired after she asked to work from home because she is pregnant and has other health issues.
Katherine Lockwood, whose second child is due in May, told The Boston Globe for a story Tuesday that by refusing her request to work remotely, Bourne’s superintendent violated federal and state laws that protect disabled and pregnant workers and require employers to honor reasonable requests for workplace accommodations.
Lockwood’s request included letters from doctors saying she needs to work remotely this school year because of her health, but Bourne Public Schools Superintendent Kerri Anne Quinlan-Zhou refused to honor the request and fired Lockwood in January, the complaint said.
“I was fired because of a part of my identity,” she said. “It’s a part of me that’s really important and valuable. It has made me a better person and a better professional and they are saying that part of me — that part of my identity — is worthless by firing me.”
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The complaint is under review, Bourne’s superintendent said in a statement.
“The district is aware of the complaint, and is reviewing it with our legal counsel,” Quinlan-Zhou said.. “As this is a pending legal matter involving protected personnel information, we are unable to comment further at this time.”