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Jennifer Zeigler had been working as a Georgia middle school teacher for 25 years when she lost her job after driving drunk to school one day. Now Zeigler has filed a federal complaint against the school district that fired her, reports The Daily Citizen* of Dalton, Ga., claiming sex and disability discrimination.
While conceding that she is an alcoholic, Ziegler claims that she'd never been drunk at work or school, and she argues that her dismissal amounts to disability discrimination because alcoholism is protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In her complaint, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she also alleges sex discrimination, claiming that two male employees had been arrested for drunken driving and were actually promoted to management afterwards. Another man, she alleges, was even hired, despite a DUI on his record.
Last March, Zeigler was arrested on her way to Bagley Middle School in Chatsworth, Ga. Her blood alcohol level was .311, almost four times the legal limit, police say. She pleaded "no contest," and was given 12 months probation and an order to complete a drug and alcohol awareness program. The school district promptly knocked her off its payroll.
By law, alcoholic employees can't be fired for their addiction. But they can fired for failing to meet performance and behavior standards, ...
* Report reports The Daily Citizen
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