A teacher was terminated from a charter school after he was reprimanded several times for unprofessionalism toward his students. After his termination, the teacher, who is Nigerian, filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that he had been discriminated against based on race and national origin.
The EEOC issued him a right-to-sue letter, which informed him that he had the right to file a lawsuit within 90 days from his receipt of the notice. The teacher failed to do this and instead filed a lawsuit against the school seeking monetary damages for discrimination, also naming his principal as a defendant.
The charter school and principal
filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the charter school was
protected by sovereign immunity, which is a legal theory that protects
governmental entities from liability in lawsuits in most instances. The teacher
responded that charter schools are not protected by sovereign immunity. The
court dismissed the lawsuit and the teacher appealed.
The court of appeals agreed with the district court and found that charter schools are entitled to sovereign immunity. Because of this, the teacher was limited in the type of lawsuit he could file.
In this instance, the law grants employees who believe they have been
discriminated against at work the right to file a charge of discrimination with the
EEOC and to potentially file a lawsuit as a result. Although the teacher had
been granted the right to file a lawsuit in this manner, he did not do so.
Therefore, his lawsuit was subject to dismissal.