FORT LAUDERDALE -- A former librarian has filed a lawsuit against Broward County, alleging discriminating against her due to her disability.
According to Coleen A. Leogue’s complaint, she worked as a librarian in Broward County for nearly 35 years, including work as a library aide for the past 16 years.
“For the roughly 35 years that Broward County employed Leogue, she performed her job competently and received positive reviews and received numerous commendations,” the suit says.
Leogue said she has a cognitive disability due to brain damage, making her disabled as defined within the meaning of the American with Disabilities Act.
According to the complaint, Leogue was forced to sign the “essential job functions” of her position even though she was still performing the same duties, but was informed she also had to handle money.
“Leogue requested an accommodation not to perform monetary transactions,” the complaint said. “Leogue was willing and able to continue to perform more manual duties such as shelving books, retrieving books from the outside book drop, retrieving hold books and assisting clients in finding wrongly shelved and lost books.”
Leogue said she has been unable to find another position due to her disability after being told to find another job in Broward County.
According to Leogue’s suit, she spoke with her supervisors, Carol Russo and June Fleischman, requesting an accommodation and not to be terminated. “They did not help me and refused to accommodate my disability or to assist in finding another position in Broward County,” Leogue said.
Broward County knew or had reason to know that Leogue was an employee who was entitled to reasonable accommodation for her disability, according to the complaint.
Leogue said Broward County terminated her Dec. 6, 2017, the 35th anniversary of Leogue working for the county.
“As a result of Broward County’s’ unjust, unlawful and wrongful treatment of her, Leogue has [a] law firm and they are entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs,” the complaint stated.
Count I of the lawsuit alleges discrimination In violation of ADA. Leogue requested the court award her back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and any other such relief the court deems just and equitable.
Count II of the lawsuit alleges discrimination in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.
“As a direct and proximate result of the intentional violations of the FCRA by Broward County, Leogue has been injured,” the complaint stated. “Her injuries include, but are not limited to, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and humiliation.”
According to Count II of her allegations, Leogue seeks back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, benefits and pension, punitive damages, interest, attorney fees, court costs and all other relief the court deems just and equitable.
“Broward County’s violation of the anti-discriminatory provisions of the FCRA was willful and in direct contravention of the FCRA,” the lawsuit said.