University faces legal battle

Joe Evans
News Co-Editor

The University is being sued for $100,000 in damages by a former University employee.

Rosette Adera, the former head of The University’s Office of Equality and Diversity, said in the lawsuit that she was wrongfully terminated.

Adera had been with The University since she was hired in June 2007.

In the lawsuit, Adera claimed she was fired in September 2013 because University officials opposed her findings in an investigation. That investigation began in October 2012 after an employee filed a claim. The employee filed the claim against her supervisor, who allegedly was subjecting the employee to harassment and a hostile work environment because of her disability.

According to the lawsuit, Adera claimed that she brought the matter to the attention of her supervisor and suggested that the investigation into the harassment claims should be conducted by an independent, third-party investigator.

The defendants instructed Adera to go investigate the claims despite her concerns.

According to the lawsuit, Adera’s findings from the investigation revealed that the employee had been subjected to harassment under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The defendants disagreed with her findings.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants then attempted to cover-up the violations of the employees’ rights. The defendants objected to telling the employee the results of the investigation, which goes against The University’s internal complaint process.

The defendants then hired an independent third-party investigator to conduct another investigation of the employee’s complaints.

Adera was then suspended by The University in June 2013 pending an investigation of how she handled the employee’s claim.
Adera’s attorney did not respond to calls from The Aquinas.
Stan Zygmunt, University director of News and Media Relations, declined to comment due to the ongoing nature of the case.

Feb. 20, 2015

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