Discussion 5: Is It Employment Discrimination?
The following is based on an actual set of circumstance at a local community college – not Shoreline.
Ms. Suda worked at X Community College for a few years. She was not a full time instructor, but instead worked as a contract instructor each quarter, and thus, was not a permanent employee and could be replaced at-will by her department. One quarter, her academic dean, Ms. Jones, informed her that she had received some complaints about her teaching and wanted to discuss these issues with her. Ms. Suda agreed and discussed the issues with Ms. Jones. Ms. Jones suggested that Ms. Suda work with the professional development staff at the college and take additional training to improve her teaching; Ms. Suda did this. For several quarters, there were no issues. One day, Ms. Jones asked Ms. Suda to come by her office. Ms. Jones told Ms. Suda that there would be no classes for her the next quarter based on her performance in the classroom, or for any quarters thereafter. Ms. Suda, who is an immigrant, and non-native speaker of English, asked Ms. Jones if her accent was the reason she thought her performance was lacking. Ms. Jones replied: “No, I am from Texas and also have an accent!” Ms. Suda left the office very upset.
Discussion question: Was Ms. Suda discriminated against by Ms. Jones, and the College? Does she have grounds for a legal complaint against the College? Discuss with your peers.