Penny Deams, who filed her lawsuit against Gwinnett County Schools last week, had previously filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). But the commission found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support a claim of discrimination, according to the suburban Atlanta school district.
The problems began after Deams was asked to extend her work schedule from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., her lawsuit says. She told supervisors it would interfere with her daily prayers because her mosque closed before 10 p.m. She went to the human resources office to ask about her rights after being questioned by the principal at Ferguson Elementary School in Duluth about her religious activities.
Deams claims there were “significant, retaliatory changes” in the way school leaders treated her. When she said she would speak with an attorney, questions were raised about her job application references.
She was asked to get an employment verification letter from a previous employer within two days, even though the process would take at least four to five days, her lawsuits claims. She was suspended during that time for allegedly falsifying her application but still showed up for work. When she did not produce the employment verification within the allotted time, she was fired for allegedly falsifying her job application and for coming to work while suspended, her lawsuit says.
Deams says questions about her job application never came up before she asked for religious accommodations.