Susan Gidney, the former employee of NorthWest Arkansas Community College who alerted the media to wage violations at the college, has filed suit against the college related to her July 18, 2012, firing.
The suit was filed March 19 in the Fayetteville division of the U.S. District Court Western District of Arkansas.
In the 10-page filing, Gidney, through her attorneys, claims that a primary reason she was fired was for alerting the media beginning April 1, 2012, that school officials had authorized pay raises in violation of Gov. Mike Beebe’s wage freeze for fiscal year 2011.
“Plaintiff’s letters also questioned the legality of certain practices by the Office of Personnel Management in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration,” the suit notes.
The lawsuit asserts three causes for action in favor of Gidney.
• Retaliation for opposition to discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
• Retaliation for exercise of rights of free speech and to petition for redress in violation of the First Amendment; and,
• Deprivation of substantive and procedural due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In addition to backpay for lost wages and benefits, Gidney is also seeking re-instatement, compensatory damages, attorney fees and “punitive damages in an amount sufficient to deter the defendants and their agents from similar misconduct.”
Link here for a copy of the complaint.